Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FAQ: Are Movie Theaters Pistol-FREE Zones In Michigan?

Ask The Michigan Firearms Instructor

Q: Does the "entertainment venue" specified in the CPL statutes include movie theaters? And if it does, how would one calculate seating capacity - by the screen or the whole building? Love your FB page and the "Ask The Firearm Instructor" feature.

A: Yes, movie theaters are "entertainment venues" that become pistol-free zones under the Michigan conceal carry statute if the seating capacity is equal to or exceeds 2,500. However, a great deal of confusion exists with respect to how that number is calculated.

Specifically, does the 2,500 capacity refer to a single theater in a cineplex or does it apply to the combined seating of all of the theaters? To my knowledge, there is no case law on the matter and no Michigan Attorney General ruling on this common question.

However, if you go to the theater-plex and see a statement on the doors that specifies a seating capacity of at least 2,500 then you at least know that the private property owner has declared it to be a gun-free zone.

Please recall that private property rights trump your carry rights at that venue. However, if there is no "capacity sign" then use your best judgement. If you decide to carry there, at least do a decent job of concealing your firearm.

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.

For more info about free shooting lessons for women and Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Phone: 313.733.7404

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