Q: Rick, I attempted to attend the Motor City Pride Festival at Hart Plaza today and saw a sign that said "No Concealed Weapons." Is this a valid restriction?
"(h) An establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act, Act No. 8 of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1933, being sections 436.1 to 436.58 of the Michigan Compiled Laws."
According to this statute, any venue that has been a license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission is a gun free zone. However, there is an exemption for Concealed Pistol Licensees (CPL). So, CPL-holders can either Open Carry (OC) or Conceal Carry (CC) at a venue where a liquor license has been issued. Alternatively, non-CPL persons could NOT OC there.
Now we need to look at the CC gun free zones in MCL 28.425o. At one point in time, some thought that Hart Plaza was an entertainment facility that seated more 2,500. If that was true, then it would be a gun free zone for conceal carry.
That issue was put to bed by Attorney General Opinion #7120 written by Jennifer Granholm who described Hart Plaza as "being more like a municipal park than an entertainment facility." Therefore, she ruled that Hart Plaza is not a CC gun free zone.
Thusly, a CPL-holder can legally OC or CC at Hart Plaza regardless of whether alcohol is being served.
Non CPL-holders can't carry - either CC or OC - at Hart Plaza if alcohol is being served.
Furthermore, the sign that is posted at Hart Plaza is inaccurate and does not apply to CPL-holders. It has no authority and is void and unenforceable. The city of Detroit can't write its own firearm laws due to the Preemption Law (MCL 123.1102) which states that:
"A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols or other firearms, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state."
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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