In an effort to prohibit the lawful carry of firearms in the Capital Area District Library (CADL) system, in February 2011 CADL filed a lawsuit against Michigan Open Carry seeking both a declaratory judgment establishing the validity of its weapons policy and injunctive relief to enforce the policy. Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Aquilina immediately issued an Emergency Ex-Parte Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting the public from carrying a firearm on CADL property.
CADL moved the court for summary disposition, arguing it is within their authority to prohibit weapons, and that they are not subject to MCL 123.1102, Michigan’s firearms preemption law. MOC opposed the motion, arguing that CADL’s policy was in fact preempted by state law and also violated the right to bear arms of the United States and Michigan Constitutions. The Circuit Court found in favor of CADL.
MOC appealed the ruling to the Michigan Court of Appeals. This case was heard in July 2012, and in October 2012 a reversal was issued by the Court of Appeals. The Court held that, in light of MCL 123.1102 expressly prohibiting local units of government from regulating firearms, state law completely occupies the field of firearms regulation, and that CADL, as a quasi-municipal corporation, remains subject to the constitution and the laws of this state, is subject to preemption, and thus has no authority on its own to ban firearms.
Furthermore, the Court of Appeals stated that the trial court, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Aquilina, erroneously granted summary disposition in favor of CADL and abused its discretion by granting CADL’s request for permanent injunctive relief by permanently banning MOC members and the public from entering CADL’s buildings and branches while carrying a firearm.
The Michigan Court Of Appeals decision can be found here:
What does this decision mean for Michigan’s firearms owners? The courts not only upheld Michigan’s firearms preemption law, but clarified that the state completely occupies the field of firearms regulation, and that quasi-municipal corporations, authorities, and other subordinates to local units of government are covered by this law. Thus, the Court of Appeals seems to indicate that all of the local K-12 school districts that have banned open carry are preempted as well.
In November 2012, CADL filed a Motion to Reconsider with the Court of Appeals. In December 2012 that motion was denied. In January 2013 CADL filed a Leave to Appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.
In February 2013, twelve public and district libraries and a library cooperative filed an Amicus Curiae brief in support of CADL.
The Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Association of Police Chiefs filed an Amicus Curiae brief in support of CADL in May 2013.
MOC filed to Deny Leave. On November 20, 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court denied CADL leave to appeal.
CADL declined to file a motion with the Michigan Supreme Court to reconsider, so the case is closed and the law is settled. In short, we won. Thank you to all of you who have supported Michigan Open Carry in this long and expensive fight.