Judge rules Ann Arbor schools can ban guns on campus

A Washtenaw County judge ruled against some gun owners fighting for open carry on school campuses.

- Some law abiding gun-owners have been fighting for the right to openly carry their weapons inside the city's public schools.

A Washtenaw County judge ruled that Ann Arbor schools can ban guns in schools on Wednesday.

"The children won today," said Jeanice Swift, superintendent of Ann Arbor Schools. "Because we're allowed to keep sacred the critical mission of a safe and productive learning environment."

Ann Arbor argued that guns in schools cause a disruption and students should not have to be intimidated.

"I think it's very important that we keep sacred a learning environment where our children don't have to question, our staff doesn't have to worry, where we are protected and safe," Swift said.
          
Those that want the right to open carry say, if the Legislature wanted to ban guns, the legislature could have, but not the schools.

FOX 2: "How does the school determine who is a responsible gun owner and who is a nut job?"

"They are more than welcome to have police investigate whether this person has a license to carry," said Jim Makowski, attorney for gun owners.

The judge ruled that certain laws regulating school districts do allow schools to ban guns for the safety and welfare of the students.  Just like schools can ban knives or other dangerous weapons.

FOX 2: "Are you going to carry a gun in school?"

"I have no reason not to," said Mike Thiede, a Lincoln Park gun owner. "It is not because of what could happen in the school, it might be something that happens on the way in, or on my way out."

But the judge said there is no specific law that "allows" gun owners to open carry in schools, meaning if state law is silent on allowing or not allowing guns, schools can ban them. 

"The judge is wrong," Thiede said.

Gun owners say they will appeal, with the question of whether the schools have the authority to ban guns.

Makowski said he believes the move was a political decision, but added that "we'll see at the Court of Appeals."

But for now, no guns in Ann Arbor schools.


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