An Ann Arbor resident is suing the University of Michigan after being denied a permit to open carry a gun on campus.
Joshua Wade charges in the lawsuit that the university is in violation of the state and U.S. Constitution by banning him and others from being allowed to open carry on the Ann Arbor campus.
U-M's policy says no weapons can be carried on U-M campuses by anyone other than law enforcement or the military. It also offers exceptions for education purposes. The university’s policy also says the director of public safety can issue a waiver allowing someone to carry a weapon on campus “based on extraordinary circumstances.”
In early September, Wade applied for such a waiver, his lawsuit states. It was denied by the university’s chief of police, said the Detroit Free Press.
The Michigan Constitution “states that the right of the poeple to keep and bear arms for the defencse of themselves and of the state shall not be violated,” Wade’s suit says, noting the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution also “protects the individual right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Wade is asking the court to strike down the weapons ban.
The university said the ban is a safety matter. “The university will vigorously defend its right to regulate weapons on campus to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, patients, health-care providers and hundreds of thousands of visitors, and to foster a supportive learning environment where students and faculty can feel free to explore challenging topics without fear of violence,” U-M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said in an e-mail to the Free Press. “We expect to file a response to the lawsuit in accordance with the deadline established by the Court of Claims.”
Michigan's "open carry" laws allow people with concealed carry permits to take guns into so-called pistol-free zones, such as schools, as long as the weapon is visible. There is no state law regulating open carrying of weapons in other areas as long as the weapon is in plain view, according to Michigan State Police, said the Detroit Free Press.