Sunday, June 23, 2013

Michigan Firearms FAQ: Can I Carry My Handgun At The Detroit Fireworks At Hart Plaza?

Ask The Michigan Firearms Instructor

Q: I'm planning on going to the (Detroit) fireworks on Monday. While doing some research, since it's been a few years since we've gone, my wife ran across a City of Detroit News Release. In it, it states "no contraband (weapons, knives, etc.) allowed." Is Hart Plaza private property? Or is there any other reason it would be a PFZ (pistol free zone) under the state's statute? Or is this a case of the City blowing smoke" Here is a copy of the link to the page. Thanks.

A: MCL 123.1102 states, "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."

As such, the city of Detroit has no legal basis for enacting a firearms ban or an ammunition ban. Any such attempt to ban pistols at Hart Plaza is unenforceable under state law.

To answer your other question, Hart Plaza is public property. Moreover, the other issue that needs to be examined is whether Hart Plaza a concealed carry pistol free zone as defined in MCL 28.425o. When "Shall Issue" was enacted many people wondered whether Hart Plaza fit the definition of an entertainment facility that seats 2,500 or more people. Attorney General Jennifer Granholm addressed this matter in Opinion #7120 where she ruled that Hart Plaza was "more like a municipal park than an entertainment facility."

As such, Hart Plaza is NOT a conceal carry pistol free zone and the city of Detroit lacks authority to ban handguns there during the fireworks.

Lawful open carry and conceal carry of pistols can't be banned at Hart Plaza by the city of Detroit.

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: 313.733.74

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