Ann Arbor school board meeting debates open carry on school property

The people on both sides of this issue probably could not be any farther apart. 

On one hand, you have people who say open carrying in schools is about safety, protecting themselves, their loved ones and anyone in danger. On the other hand, you have people who believe guns have no place in schools or perhaps even in society. 

That divide, that tension, was very apparent Wednesday night at the Ann Arbor School Board meeting. 

If you wanted to know who stood where, all you needed to do was look at their waists. Open carry advocates came strapped to the meeting. Police checked to see if they had valid Concealed Pistol Licenses before they came in. 

The debate came to light again recently when 22-year-old Joshua Wade showed up at his sister's high school choir concert with a Sig Sauer P226 on his hip. It's the same handgun Navy Seals use.

"I'm confident in my abilities and I pray that one of these violent situations never happens, but, if it does, yes, I'm ready," Wade told FOX 2's Randy Wimbley.

And that was the question at hand - does open carrying firearms make schools safer? 

Jeff Hayner supports the Second Amendment and even has a Concealed Pistol License, but he's not standing with pro gunners on this one.

"With the rights this card supports, and protects, I would never in a hundred years consider bringing a firearm to a public school," Hayner said at the podium.

The debate was somewhat civil at the podium but got testy in the pews. 

"We've passed 38 bills out of the Michigan House this year. Eleven of them have loosened restrictions on gun ownership," said State Rep. Jeff Irwin.

State Rep. Jeff Irwin says if you want guns out of schools, don't look to Lansing. A bill that would allow school boards to decided if guns should be allowed on school property won't see the light of day.

"It's much more likely that the current conservative group in Lansing would actually expand this loophole, than close it for our schools," Irwin says.

With that being said, the school board cannot keep anyone from open carrying in their schools, but it is telling staff members to call the police on anyone who brings a firearm onto school grounds.