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Thread: Ionia County's Bertha Brock Park rule not in compliance with State law

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    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    Ionia County's Bertha Brock Park rule not in compliance with State law

    When getting ready to go to a picnic at Ionia County's Bertha Brock Park, I checked their rules and found that they ban firearms from the park. As this looks to be promoted as a county park, I sent this to their email contact: berthabrock@triton.net

    (Anyone in the Ionia area that would be able to check up on this?)

    "While viewing your website for information about Ionia County’s Bertha Brock Park I noticed that your Park Regulations contain a rule that is not in compliance with State of Michigan Laws.

    Item # 6 states: “No firearms allowed within this park except designated area and then only at times when shooting is supervised.”

    You should be aware that in 1990 the Michigan Legislature passed MCL 123.1102, which 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.

    During the Past Decade the City of Ferndale challenged the law by enacting and enforcing a city ordinance prohibiting Firearms in their city owned public library. Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners (MCRGO) brought suit against the city. The Michigan Court of Appeals found for MCRGO and struck down the city ordinance. In part the Court of Appeals found:

    In sum, we conclude that § 1102 is a statute that specifically prohibits local units of government from enacting and enforcing any ordinances or regulations pertaining to the transportation and possession of firearms, and thus preempts any ordinance or regulation of a local unit of government concerning these areas.


    As this regulation is clearly in violation of MCL 123.1102, I request that you remove that rule from your listing of regulations on your web site, and on the grounds, so that you will then be in compliance with State Law.

    I look forward to your response that this has been remedied.

    Sincerely,

    Me... MI_XD"

    I will post any response that I receive.

    MI_XD

  2. #2
    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Lansing has park rules. They don't enforce them...they also refuse to change them. :/

  3. #3
    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    I found a little more information on the Ionia County Web site.
    (Oh, and thanks Q, I used some snippets from your Common Grounds Message to write my email.. )

    Loren Gage, Park Manager
    2311 W. Bluewater Hwy.
    Ionia, MI 48846
    Phone: 616.522.PARK (7275)
    Fax: 616.522.9733
    berthabrock@triton.net

    Bertha Brock Park is a 186 acre county park located two miles west of the City of Ionia on M-21. It is a regional park that serves the entire county and surrounding areas. Bertha Brock Park offers a campground, camping cabins, rental lodges, play areas, picnic shelters, hiking trails, sledding hill, and various family oriented recreational activities. Click any of the links for more detailed information.

    So, it IS definately a county park per their own admission.

    MI_XD

  4. #4
    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    Wow, that was quick, especially on a Sunday evening!

    Response from Loren Gage: (spelling is all Loren's)

    You email has been forwarded to our County attorneys office. Myself or there office will be in contact with you regarding your request as soon as possible.

    Thank you for your concerns regarding our regulations.

    Loren Gage
    Ionia County
    Bertha Brock Park Manager
    616.522.7275

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    Called up there this morning to inquire about the rule. The wife and I are heading out for the 4th and may stop by the park for a picnic. Spoke to a nice guy who immediately thought I was Robert? I informed him about the illegality of their firearms rule and he thought they maybe they tried use the entertainment facility aspect to bypass MCL 123.1102. I informed him if we came out there then I would be carrying openly with my CPL to bypass that. I commented that their attempt to prevent firearms using that reasoning was absurd, he kind of agreed. He told me that 2 attorneys were checking into it and and don't worry just go ahead and carry it would be no big deal, they were aware of the conflict and would not enforce it until their attorney got back to them. (Doubtful on a holiday week) He also said be prepared to get flack from other campers and parents of the children up there for OCing, I assured him as an OCer I've gotten flack from may people and am quite prepared to deal with it. I then thanked him for his time wished him a good day and hung up.

    So the ball is in their court. Hopefully they remove that illegal rule in a timely manner. Maybe an OC picnic in the future would be in order if no action is taken.

    Hevy
    "God created man, Sam Colt made them equal."

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    Regular Member bobn911's Avatar
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    Maybe some of the campers would like to know that, they too can carry in the park. later, Bob
    Life Member: NRA (Benefactor), GOA, SAF, MUCC, and Case Collectors Club
    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, NRA Certified Range Safety Officer

  7. #7
    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hevymetal View Post
    Called up there this morning to inquire about the rule. The wife and I are heading out for the 4th and may stop by the park for a picnic. Spoke to a nice guy who immediately thought I was Robert? I informed him about the illegality of their firearms rule and he thought they maybe they tried use the entertainment facility aspect to bypass MCL 123.1102. I informed him if we came out there then I would be carrying openly with my CPL to bypass that. I commented that their attempt to prevent firearms using that reasoning was absurd, he kind of agreed. He told me that 2 attorneys were checking into it and and don't worry just go ahead and carry it would be no big deal, they were aware of the conflict and would not enforce it until their attorney got back to them. (Doubtful on a holiday week) He also said be prepared to get flack from other campers and parents of the children up there for OCing, I assured him as an OCer I've gotten flack from may people and am quite prepared to deal with it. I then thanked him for his time wished him a good day and hung up.

    So the ball is in their court. Hopefully they remove that illegal rule in a timely manner. Maybe an OC picnic in the future would be in order if no action is taken.

    Hevy
    Yeah, I figured it would be a few days to get a reply, especially in a Holiday week. They don't have any large ampitheatre with formal seating, so the entertainment facility doesn't wash.

    I already carried there last weekend, but it was CC as I didn't want to rile the group I was with at the time, and I haven't taken the OC step as yet.

    Oh and Yes... MI_XD = Robert / Bob

    Beautiful park, and rustic campground. Enjoy! Got a few GeoCaches there too! And they even have a shooting range at the back of the park....

  8. #8
    Regular Member Ezerharden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI_XD View Post
    Beautiful park, and rustic campground. Enjoy! Got a few GeoCaches there too! And they even have a shooting range at the back of the park....
    Nice to see another geocacher that carries!
    Last edited by Ezerharden; 07-03-2012 at 09:18 AM.
    Want to keep informed of Open Carry events in your area? Go to www.miopencarry.org/update

    I carry a gun because a Police Officer is too heavy.

    For Drama free gun rights discussion, see http://forums.michiganopencarry.org/

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    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    First of all, I would like to Thank Loren Gage, Bertha Brock Park Manager, for the quick reply.
    Below is the response, posted with permission. Looks like they are changing the regulations, including the sign as you drive into the park. (Maybe someone can buy them some wood filler and paint?)

    Not sure that this change will make everyone here happy, though. My understanding is the change says CPL (CCW permit?) holders may CC, but implies Open Carry is NOT allowed. (Still restricting "possession, transportation"?) Anyone else read it that way? Anyone from MOC care to initiate contact on this? Might save them some paint and wood filler for a second round...

    And Loren is probably reading this forum, as my name was associated with my Handle in the response, unless someone else here mentioned it.
    ...................
    Response:

    Mr. "My Name" (MI_XD),

    In response to your email regarding our park regulations (item #6) here at Bertha Brock Park, we have reviewed our policy on the firearms issue. We will be making the necessary changes in order to be in compliance with the State of Michigan law. Weather or not parks are covered as “entertainment facilities” and covered under the 50(1)(f) of firearms laws of Michigan, has been argued in the past and was found that outdoor recreation parks do not constitute as such. I am certain with the amount of schools, children, Boy Scout groups, and other family friendly events held at the park weekly, the initial regulation was in place for there protection and not to discredit any law pertaining to firearms in Michigan. The following change will be made to the current park regulation and will be in place on our website as soon as possible. (below: item #6) The park sign at the entrance of Bertha Brock Park will be painted over within the next few weeks. As our parks department and most County parks in the state of Michigan have taken a severe hit to there annual budget, the change to the sign at the park will be changed when appropriations can be made to the budget. Unfortunately in these times even a gallon of paint and wood filler will put the parks budget over its annual limit. Thank you for your email. (Please feel free to post this email response on your website)


    Item #6: Update:
    No person shall, at any time, bring into or upon Commission property, nor have in their
    Possession, nor discharge or set off anywhere upon said property, a revolver, pistol,
    Shotgun, rifle, air rifle, air gun, or any gun, rifle, firearm or other weapon that discharges
    Projectiles either by air, explosive substance or any other force. This section shall not
    apply to any deputy sheriff, police officer, authorized park ranger or other duly appointed
    law enforcement officer while carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their
    position, or to any person while upon designated target ranges or areas.
    Any person who has satisfied the provisions of Public Act 381 of 2000, as amended,
    commonly referred to as the Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) law and has in his/her
    possession a valid CCW permit, may carry a concealed pistol but may not discharge the
    pistol

    Thank you.

    Loren Gage
    Ionia County
    Bertha Brock Park Manager
    616.522.7275

  10. #10
    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    And my email response to Mr. Gage. (I know a female Loren spelled the same way, so I hope I was correct. )

    Mr. Gage, (my apologies if I am incorrect)

    Thank you for your quick response. Due to the Holiday I was not sure the attorneys would be getting back to you so quickly.

    I appreciate your action in correcting the rule, as it may have been in the list prior to the “Pre-emption” law being passed. (123.1102). Many places have found that their existing rules/signage have this out of date information on them, and have been asked to update them.

    Although the change does go in the right direction, it may still be seen as a restriction on “possession, transporting”. Per the “Pre-emption” law, that cannot be done by anyone other than the State of Michigan. Local entities CAN regulate the discharge, which you mentioned in the revision, but you should know that “Open Carry” is not illegal in the state, and actually a CPL holder (formerly called a CCW permit holder) can Open Carry in most of the areas where concealed carry is not permitted. Your revised sign would still try to restrict that legal “possession, transport”.

    Hopefully the attorneys can look at this and save you having to go through the updating process more than once.

    You have a beautiful park, enjoyed the Geocaching, and hope to return there again.

    Sincerely,
    "My Name" MI_XD"

  11. #11
    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezerharden View Post
    Nice to see another geocacher that carries!
    Not a rabid geocacher but enjoy the journey when the wife and I get the oppurtunity.

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    The below still doesn't look to be in compliance with preemption. In fact state law is contrary to the last sentence in the paragraph. They cannot regulate the discharge of a firearm contrary to state law. If at risk of great bodily harm or rape a person can discharge a firearm. Also they cannot restrict open carry which is also allowed by state law which is covered under the other MCL besides the CPL one. Nice to see that they are attempting to act responsibly by correcting errors. We should ensure they continue to be corrected as the below is still incorrect.

    Mike


    Item #6: Update:
    No person shall, at any time, bring into or upon Commission property, nor have in their
    Possession, nor discharge or set off anywhere upon said property, a revolver, pistol,
    Shotgun, rifle, air rifle, air gun, or any gun, rifle, firearm or other weapon that discharges
    Projectiles either by air, explosive substance or any other force. This section shall not
    apply to any deputy sheriff, police officer, authorized park ranger or other duly appointed
    law enforcement officer while carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their
    position, or to any person while upon designated target ranges or areas.
    Any person who has satisfied the provisions of Public Act 381 of 2000, as amended,
    commonly referred to as the Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) law and has in his/her
    possession a valid CCW permit, may carry a concealed pistol but may not discharge the
    pistol

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran smellslikemichigan's Avatar
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    yep, big fail on the part of the attorney
    "If it ain't loaded and cocked it don't shoot." - Rooster Cogburn
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    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikestilly View Post
    The below still doesn't look to be in compliance with preemption. In fact state law is contrary to the last sentence in the paragraph. They cannot regulate the discharge of a firearm contrary to state law. If at risk of great bodily harm or rape a person can discharge a firearm. Also they cannot restrict open carry which is also allowed by state law which is covered under the other MCL besides the CPL one. Nice to see that they are attempting to act responsibly by correcting errors. We should ensure they continue to be corrected as the below is still incorrect.

    Mike
    Mike,
    Did you see my email response to Loren? I mentioned Open Carry, and also regulating discharge. Should I have also added that locals can regulate discharge, but only as state law allows? (That would cover the Castle/Stand related incidents)

    MI_XD

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    Quote Originally Posted by MI_XD View Post
    Mike,
    Did you see my email response to Loren? I mentioned Open Carry, and also regulating discharge. Should I have also added that locals can regulate discharge, but only as state law allows? (That would cover the Castle/Stand related incidents)

    MI_XD
    MI_XD,

    It looks like I did miss your response. Sorry about that. Your response was good. I don't think you need to add to it. Did they ever respond? If they didn't you should follow up & continue to follow up until they fulfill their duties to correct things.

    Mike

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    Regular Member Bronson's Avatar
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    Instead of just offering corrections why not offer a solution?

    "Firearms are not permitted on Park property unless possessed in compliance with State and Federal law."

    Done.

    Bronson
    Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

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    Regular Member Tucker6900's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI_XD View Post
    and has in his/her
    possession a valid CCW permit, may carry a concealed pistol but may not discharge the
    pistol
    Does anyone know where I can get one of those permits for a felony?
    The only terrorists I see nowadays are at the Capital.


    The statements made in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of OCDO or its members.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran smellslikemichigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronson View Post
    Instead of just offering corrections why not offer a solution?

    "Firearms are not permitted on Park property unless possessed in compliance with State and Federal law."

    Done.

    Bronson
    why not just delete all references to firearms in the park rules altogether. if they commit a crime with a firearm, they will still be charged regardless of whether there is a park rule or not.
    "If it ain't loaded and cocked it don't shoot." - Rooster Cogburn
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    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronson View Post
    Instead of just offering corrections why not offer a solution?

    "Firearms are not permitted on Park property unless possessed in compliance with State and Federal law."

    Done.
    Bronson for the win!
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    “He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.”--M. K. Gandhi

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    Regular Member Bronson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smellslikemichigan View Post
    why not just delete all references to firearms in the park rules altogether. if they commit a crime with a firearm, they will still be charged regardless of whether there is a park rule or not.
    That works too, it was just a suggestion. My point is that instead of just hanging over them and saying "nope, you're still wrong" why not offer them some solutions to the problem they can just plug in.

    Bronson
    Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

  21. #21
    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smellslikemichigan View Post
    why not just delete all references to firearms in the park rules altogether.
    I totally agree that this is the absolute correct answer. But authorities have a track record of keeping something that sorta sounds anti-gun--without being patently against pre-emption--when they are corrected.

    I still think it's Bronson for the win!
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    “He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.”--M. K. Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

  22. #22
    Campaign Veteran smellslikemichigan's Avatar
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    some people like rules. some don't.
    "If it ain't loaded and cocked it don't shoot." - Rooster Cogburn
    http://www.graystatemovie.com/

  23. #23
    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    I sent this along to Mr. Gage:

    Mr. Gage,

    The people on the forum that know more about this type of subject than I, came up with this suggestion. And it even saves a lot of space. No need to add wood to your sign.

    "Firearms are not permitted on Park property unless possessed in compliance with State and Federal law."

    I was told that even the discharge of a firearm is covered by state law, by the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Law in Michigan. If at risk of great bodily harm (including fear of death) or rape a person may discharge a firearm. Other than that, the state covers penalties for negligent or other illegal reasons for discharge of a firearm.

    I hope this helps out.

    Sincerely,
    "My Name"

    .........
    Thanks for the ideas.
    MI_XD

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    Quote Originally Posted by MI_XD View Post
    I sent this along to Mr. Gage:

    Mr. Gage,

    The people on the forum that know more about this type of subject than I, came up with this suggestion. And it even saves a lot of space. No need to add wood to your sign.

    "Firearms are not permitted on Park property unless possessed in compliance with State and Federal law."

    I was told that even the discharge of a firearm is covered by state law, by the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Law in Michigan. If at risk of great bodily harm (including fear of death) or rape a person may discharge a firearm. Other than that, the state covers penalties for negligent or other illegal reasons for discharge of a firearm.

    I hope this helps out.

    Sincerely,
    "My Name"

    .........
    Thanks for the ideas.
    MI_XD


    MI_XD,

    That's perfect!

    Mike

  25. #25
    Regular Member MI_XD's Avatar
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    Latest response. Now we just need to see what they decide to do.


    ................
    Mr. "MI_XD",

    Your suggested “rule language” is something that we were contemplating also. Thank you. At this time it was forwarded to our County attorneys office for review. I will let you know on the decision when I hear.

    Thank you.

    Loren Gage
    Ionia County
    Bertha Brock Park Manager
    616.522.7275
    Last edited by MI_XD; 07-06-2012 at 07:58 PM. Reason: spelling

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