A few people have asked me whether the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit was indeed a pistol free zone (PFZ). So, I made and had a lengthy and rather engaging phone call conversation today with Mr. Berry who is the head of NAIAS Security.
First, he told me that state law prohibits persons legally concealing guns from attending any venue with a seating capacity greater than 2,800. I corrected his number down to 2,500 and also amended the term "any venue" to an 'entertainment facility.'
Of course, we disagreed as to whether Cobo Hall was an entertainment facility. He believes that since Sheryl Crow and a few other singers sang there last night, according to him, and that since cars are present for the entertainment enjoyment of patrons that means that the auto show is an entertainment facility. I disagree.
Secondly, he offered up the explanation that the auto show was also a PFZ because they serve alcohol. I explained to him that under the CC Statute the only places that generate more than half of its revenues from the sale of alcohol by the glass to be consumed on the premises was a PFZ under the CC Statute. Further, I also explained that CPL-holders are exempted under the other gun ban that applies to any establishment licensed by the MLCC. So, we disagreed again.
Lastly, his final and strongest argument is that the auto show is a private and ticketed event being conducted by the NAIAS (on public property). As such, in Berry's opinion, they (NAIAS) can dictate whether patrons can attend their event while legally armed.
According to Mr. Berry the prohibition of weapons is explicitly stated on the back of the ticket and that purchasers implicitly agree to not bring their guns when they buy a ticket. Also, the gun ban is prominently posted on the doors.
I can grasp the concept presented by Berry's last point and I have had this conversation with many persons over the years - most of whom are attorneys. Some believe it is a gray area due to the event being on public property. Some do not.
Mr. Berry also wanted me to let you all know that both he and the NAIAS are not anti-gun. They just don't want you to carry your gun there. He added that DPD, Wayne County, MSP, and many other federal agents from different agencies will be there to ensure safety.
Finally, it is clear that the promoters of the NAIAS do not want their patrons to bring their firearms. Either leave your gun in your car or do not buy a ticket.
I won't be attending.
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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