MCL 28.425o lists entertainment facilities that seat at least 2,500 patrons as pistol free zones. If their seating capacity is accurate, a very good argument could be made that it is indeed a gun free zone as defined in the statute.
However, if Chene Park does not have seating for at least 2,500, it would not be defined as a gun free zone.
In contrast, Hart Plaza was determined by an Attorney General Opinion (#720) by the then state Attorney General Jennifer Granholm that it was "more like a municipal park than an entertainment facility." As such, Hart Plaza is not a gun free zone.
To put this question officially to rest, we may need a legal decision to determine the definition of a "seat." Does it actually have to be a "chair" or would space dedicated for sitting, at a concert, count as a seat? Don't you just love the law?
Furthermore, MCL 750.234d provides an exemption for CPL-holders to carry on the premises of "theaters," establishments that have been issued a license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, and other specified gun free zones.
As such, if MCL 28.425o forbids conceal carry by CPL-holders at entertainments facilities which seat more than 2,500 patrons, then open carry would be allowed for CPL-holders via MCL 750.234d. Furthermore, if Chene Park is not a gun free zone as specified in MCL 750.234d, then anyone who can lawfully possess a pistol can open carry in Chene Park.
You are strongly encouraged to not only conduct your own independent research but to also consult with a competent and qualified attorney before acting upon any information in this article. Laws covering self-defense, lethal force, firearms, and the Michigan Concealed Pistol License and their enforcement are always subject to change due to laws being amended, politics conducted in the Prosecutor's Office, and election results at all levels of government. Ignorance of the law, legally speaking, is not a valid excuse for running afoul of it. The penalties and fines imposed upon violators of firearms related offenses are stiff and severe.
About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.
Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.
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