A parent in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is teaming up with a pro-gun group to sue his local school district after officials passed a decree banning weapons inside school buildings.
On Monday, parent Ulysses Wong and the non-profit organization Michigan Gun Owners filed a lawsuit against Ann Arbor Public Schools and its superintendent, claiming the district’s anti-weapon policy violates Michigan gun laws, in addition to the US Constitution.
The school board on April 15 unanimously passed a policy banning weapons inside schools, except for those carried by law enforcement officers.
The policy was preceeded by a recent scare in which a man arrived at a high school choir concert donning a legally concealed firearm.
“Our teachers and school leaders have incredible responsibility already, how can we possibly determine the intention of a gun-carrier on campus, to sort out the ‘good guys’ from those with malicious intent,” Superintendent Jeanice Swift, named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said.
“The presence of guns in schools runs contrary to everything we are wired for in education, and is counterproductive to maintaining a rich, productive, and healthy learning environment for our children.”
The district’s anti-gun policy contradicts Michigan law, which allows licensed gun owners to openly carry throughout the state, except in places like churches, theaters and hospitals.
“State law preempts a local unit of government from regulating the possession and transportation of a firearm,” the suit’s text also reads.
Michigan Gun Owners president Michael Borders argues the board has no authority to bypass state law.
“In our opinion, you cannot let anyone circumvent the laws of the state of Michigan, regardless of who it is,” Borders stated.
The group hailed their partner in the lawsuit, Mr. Wong, as someone who wanted to “stand up for his rights.”
“[H]e feels pretty strongly that there are 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights and he believes in all of them, as do I. He does not believe the government should abridge any of those rights,” Michigan Gun Owners legislative director James Makowski told Mlive.com.
Makowski says he’s astounded at the district’s attempt to circumvent the law.
“We’re not looking for any money damages, we’re just trying to get the Ann Arbor schools to comply with state law, which they are clearly flaunting,” he told Mlive.
“It’s amazing to me that they so brazenly flout the law.”
The school district had anticipated a lawsuit following passage of the gun ban, but “said they were not worried,” according to CBS Detroit.
Meanwhile, the pro-gun group appears to have no plans to back down anytime soon.
“We have those rights that were granted to us — that big, long word ‘inalienable’ comes up. Those are rights that we were born with, and now people want to take these rights away,” Borders said in an interview with WWJ Newsradio 950.