Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

May 4, 2014

Open carry firearms legal in schools

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools board members didn't know it was legal for someone with a concealed pistol license to openly carry a loaded firearm into a Michigan school until this year.

The issue hadn't come up until Interlochen resident and Grand Traverse County Commission candidate Andy Marek attended a TCAPS board meeting in January with a gun holstered on his hip. His public comment had nothing to do with guns, but school board members noticed his firearm.

Marek said he brought his gun with him into the Tompkins Boardman Administration Center for protection. The administration center is where monthly school board meetings are held but does not have any classrooms used for student instruction.

Marek stands by his legal right to open carry.

"Most shootings happen in schools. I need to be able to defend myself and the life of people around me, and I'd feel really bad if something happened and I didn't have my tool with me to defend myself or others," Marek said.

Board president Kelly Hall said Marek's appearance raised concerns among board members. They asked school administrators to look into state law and school policy. Administrators found that Marek was acting legally at the meeting, and it would also be legal for him to open carry inside a school.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said the law is nothing new. It is illegal for someone with a CPL to carry a concealed firearm on a school's campus, but there's nothing in state law that says they cannot carry it openly.

TCAPS Superintendent Stephen Cousins sent an email to parents Friday afternoon updating them on the law.

"We respect the people's right to carry weapons, when properly permitted, but we ask that they consider the anxiety that carrying a weapon may cause a young child when deciding whether to open carry a weapon on school grounds," the letter said.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted