Appeals court upholds Ann Arbor schools’ gun ban

The Detroit News staff and wire reports

Ann Arbor Public Schools has the legal authority to ban guns in its buildings and at school-sponsored events, according to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel on Friday unanimously ruled that state law does not pre-empt a 2015 policy adopted by the district but challenged by Michigan Gun Owners Inc. and Ulysses Wong, a concealed pistol permit holder and parent of an Ann Arbor student.

Plaintiffs argued state law expressly prohibits the district from enacting a gun-free policy and that a “patchwork” of unique school rules around the state would create “confusion” and “burden” the police and public.

The panel found no merit in that argument, ruling that the Legislature has generally empowered school districts to provide for the safety and welfare of students.

“Most parents easily learn and adapt to the policies and procedures applicable to their children’s schools and district,” said the decision from Judges Elizabeth Gleicher, Kirsten Frank Kelly and Douglas Shapiro.

The Ann Arbor policy “ensures that the learning environment remains uninterrupted by the invocation of emergency procedures which would surely be required each and every time a weapon is openly carried by a citizen into a school building.”