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Thread: County Parks

  1. #1
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    I recently had an encounter that has me quite frustrated and I'm looking for advice. Upon doing some research I discovered this site, the county park website, etc. and I'm looking for advice on how to move forward. I'm new to this site so be nice .

    The incident was as follows. I was walking with my wife and the fido in my local Kent County Park. I use at least three different county parks on a regular basis as they are very well kept, beautiful, clean, and offer nice trails for this purpose. It began getting warmer so I removed my sweatshirt. I have always been pretty casual about my concealed carry as I am aware that open-carry in Michigan is legal (although I'm even more confident after spending several hours on this site). I was doing my best to conceal my DW CBob in my IWB under the t-shirt. Apparently I was unable to do so as it was shortly after that I was approached by a man on a golf-cart. He identified himself as the park manager. He told us he had to ask us to leave as there were no weapons allowed in Kent County Parks. Apparently he had received a complaint from another user of the park. I told him I wasn't aware of any such rule and that it was never my intention to offend anybody. I did so calmly and very politely.He was very polite in return to myself and my family (pooch included). Shook our hands and I told him we were on our way out anyway. I didn't want to push the issue any further (at the time).

    Needless to say I was outraged. I didn't appreciate the fact that in order to utilize the facilities at the park I had to forfeit a right to protect myself. Unacceptable. I began scouring their rules (cited/linked below).



    I want to address this situation and do so properly. Any and all advice is welcome. I am willing to write letters, email, make phones calls, etc. What should the nature of the letters be, should I go back to the park with any sort of information and talk to the manager as I believe he would be receptive to a discussion (he admitted he was all for gun-rights and would carry at work if he could).


    Kent County Parks Rule section 25:




    a. Violations or criminal offenses involving the transportation, possession, brandishing or discharge of pistols, other firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms on County park property shall be prosecuted in accordance with local ordinance or state law. Local ordinances shall be enforced by the appropriate local police department, unless that department has entered into an agreement with the County for a different scheme of enforcement. This subsection shall not apply to any duly sworn law enforcement officer.
    b. It shall be unlawful for any person to bring into or upon County park property, have in her or his possession on County park property, or brandish or discharge on County park property, any dangerous weapon other than those described in Section 25.a. above, without a written permit from the director. This subsection shall not apply to any duly sworn law enforcement officer.





    I read this to mean their rules are in accordance with local ordinances/state law (thus allowing not only CPLs but also this would make open-carry perfectly legal), yet at the same time they forbid any weapons on the property.I had originally drafted a letter asking them to adjust their illegal ruledue to Michigan's preemption law to allow CPL holders to carry while in the park.However, now I wish to take it one step further and point out the entire law itself is in violation.Am I mistaken...I'm no lawyer?

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    Regular Member Taurus850CIA's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, sevenplusone. You are correct in that preemption applies to not just possession while concealing, but also while openly carrying. Here is a letter that is floating around this site that has been sent with good results to several local gov'ts. Go get 'em!


    Dear Mayor xxxx:

    Looking through your ordinances I discovered this one (below). Under the 1990 state preemption law this ordinance is unenforceable in regards to firearm possession and is misleading to the people of East Lansing and other citizens. I am requesting you amend this offending ordinance within 90 days. Failure to amend this ordinance would be considered an act of malfeasance as it willfully misinforms the public of what is and is not allowed in the city ofWayne.
    Thank You,

    Your name here

    In 1990, the Michigan legislature enacted MCL 123.1102 which provides, in pertinent part: 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.

    THEMICHIGAN APPEALS COURTCONCLUDED:
    April 29, 2003
    9:10 am. v No. 242237 MCGRO vs Ferndale.

    In sum, we conclude that § 1102 is a statute that specifically imposes a prohibition on 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. ]

    Further, we conclude that the specific language of the 2000 amendments to MCL 28.421 et seq., particularly §§ 5c and 5o, which were adopted more than a decade after the enactment of § 1102, do not repeal § 1102 or otherwise reopen this area to local regulation of the carrying of firearms.17 Accordingly, we hold that the Ferndale ordinance is preempted by state law and, consequently, we reverse.

    City of Wayne ORDINANCE in question:

    690.04 CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPONS.
    (a) No person shall carry a firearm or dangerous weapon on his or her person or within or upon any vehicle, concealed or otherwise, except as otherwise specifically provided for in this section, on any of the streets or other public places in the City or on any private property frequented or visited by the public for purposes of education, recreation, amusement, entertainment, sports or shopping, or providing or receiving services.


    (b) For the purpose of this section, "firearm" means any device or part of a device, by whatever name known, which is designed or readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, expansion of gas or air, or escape of gas or air. "Dangerous weapon" means any article or device which is designed or reasonably adapted for use as an offensive, dangerous or deadly weapon.

    (c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of the Armed Forces, National Guard or other employees of the Federal Government, the states and their political subdivisions who are required to carry firearms as part of their official duties and who are engaged in the performance of their official duties, or to a person who possesses a duly authorized license or permit to do so.

    (d) This section shall not apply to the transportation of an unloaded weapon which is broken down, enclosed in a case, carried in the trunk of a vehicle or otherwise inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle.

    (Ord. 26-A-7. Passed 7-2-85.)
    "Fault always lies in the same place, my fine babies: with him weak enough to lay blame." - Cort

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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'll be doing that. Does it still apply to something like a county park? It's set up by the government ( I believe), butit isn't a law or ordinance really. Just a rule.

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    Regular Member Taurus850CIA's Avatar
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    The link you posted shows that it is set up by the county(local gov't). What you posted are ordinances. Preemption does apply here.
    "Fault always lies in the same place, my fine babies: with him weak enough to lay blame." - Cort

    Gun control is like trying to reduce Drunk Driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

    Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.

    The answer to "1984" is "
    1776"

    With freedom comes much responsibility. It is for this reason so many are loathe to exercise it.

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    Thank you very much!

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    I personally contacted my Township Supervisor about the exact same type of 'rule' in our Township parks. I pointed out the discrepancy with the MI preemption statute and, after review by the Township attorney, he agreed that the Township was in violation of the State's Preemption legislation.

    I was informed that the 'rule' would be struck from the Township Park list of 'regulations' as it was unenforceable. Subsequently, I contacted a neighboring township with the same issue with the same result (this one regarding carrying on a Township owned golf course).

    One person can make a difference...just do it.

    Carry on.

  7. #7
    Regular Member LaVere's Avatar
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    I had to do the same thing with Genesee County several years ago. The got it changed after much work and talking. They were very nice to work with.

    Map of parks http://www.geneseecountyparks.org/maps.htm
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    What about a Metropark? There is one in Dexter/Pinckney called Hudson Mills that I go to often. On there website it states the same thing..."No person shall possess or control any rifle, shotgun or other firearm, bow and arrow, slingshot, pellet gun, air rifle, fireworks, explosives, or other dangerous substances within the boundaries of any park, without written permission of the Authority".

    http://www.metroparks.com/global/rules_regs.php

    Wouldn't that rule have to be removed from a Metropark, or are they considered private property?

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    Upon reading a little further they mention this.

    ", further that this section shall not prohibit a person from legally carrying firearms in accordance with state law, including transporting an unloaded shotgun in a case within the boundaries of Lake Erie or Metro Beach Metropark for the purpose of using Lake Erie or Metro Beach Metropark as access to a permitted hunting area"

    Notice how it states "further that this section shall not prohibit a person from legally carrying firearms in accordance with state law".

    So I guess it should be legal to carry there.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Taurus850CIA's Avatar
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    T Vance wrote:
    Upon reading a little further they mention this.

    ", further that this section shall not prohibit a person from legally carrying firearms in accordance with state law, including transporting an unloaded shotgun in a case within the boundaries of Lake Erie or Metro Beach Metropark for the purpose of using Lake Erie or Metro Beach Metropark as access to a permitted hunting area"

    Notice how it states "further that this section shall not prohibit a person from legally carrying firearms in accordance with state law".

    So I guess it should be legal to carry there.
    "Should be" is the question. There is more discussion about this very topic here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum30/23595.html
    "Fault always lies in the same place, my fine babies: with him weak enough to lay blame." - Cort

    Gun control is like trying to reduce Drunk Driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

    Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.

    The answer to "1984" is "
    1776"

    With freedom comes much responsibility. It is for this reason so many are loathe to exercise it.

  11. #11
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    Oakland County parks has the same parks rules.

    However, it also reads:
    "Provided further, that this section shall not affect the rights of individuals who possess a valid Concealed Pistol License issued by the state of their residence."

    http://www.oakgov.com/parksrec/asset.../ocp_rules.pdf

  12. #12
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    kidaquarius wrote:
    Oakland County parks has the same parks rules.

    However, it also reads:
    "Provided further, that this section shall not affect the rights of individuals who possess a valid Concealed Pistol License issued by the state of their residence."

    http://www.oakgov.com/parksrec/asset.../ocp_rules.pdf
    All county park ordinances that ban firearms are illegal regardless of whether you have a CPL or not. A person without a CPL can OC in any municipal park throughout the state, due to preemption. Preemption doesn't just apply to CPL holders.
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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