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Thread: SENT letter to Springfield Township

  1. #1
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    I sent the following letter to our Township Supervisor this morning. I will keep you all updated with any responses I recieve.





    Dear Supervisor Trout

    I am member ofopencarry.org's Michigan forum and during a recent visit to the [size=Shiawassee Basin Preserve on Eaton Road, I was confronted by a sign in the parking lot listing the Park Rules and Regulations. The particular policy that caught my eye was the one stating]
    “Possession of weapons by any nature other than hunting is prohibited”[/i]. This is listed on the sign as “Springfield Township Ordinance 42 section 7.5”; but the copy of Ordinance 42 that I obtained from the Township does not list a section 7.5 but, in the copy I was given, Ordinance 42 Article VII States:

    Article VII FIREARMS AND HUNTING[/i][/b]

    It shall be unlawful for any person to:[/i][/b]

    Section 7.1 Carry or have in his or her possession a firearm unless unloaded in both barrel and magazine.[/i][/b]

    As you may or may not know, in 1990 the State of Michigan passed 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.



    In MCRGO v. Ferndale, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that local units of government may not impose restrictions upon firearms possession.[/b]



    THE MICHIGAN APPEALS COURT CONCLUDED: April 29, 2003 9:10 am. v No. 242237
    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.
    [/i]
    [/i]
    Myhope is that you amend this ordinance and any other ordinance that illegally ban firearms in Springfield Township to comply with MCL 123.1102. Michigan Open Carry, Inc. has contacted other municipalities and they have chosen to amend their ordinances to avoid any possible civil suits like the Federal suit in Grand Haven (see below). Failure to amend this ordinance could be considered an act of malfeasance as it willfully misinforms the public of what is and is not allowed in the Township parks. I look forward to your resolution and response when this policy is amended.



    For further information on open carry and citizens rights see this newsletter published by the Law Enforcement Action Forum (LEAF) of the Municipal League of Michigan.

    http://www.mml.org/insurance/shared/publications/leaf_newsletter/2009_04.pdf


    Respectfully,



    XXXXXXXXX




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    May 12, 2009


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    The Law Offices of Steven W. Dulan, PLC announces federal civil rights suit against City of Grand Haven and Ottawa County over open-carry ordinance.

    The suit, brought under Title 42, Section 1983 of the U.S. Code, was filed on behalf of Christopher Fetters, an off-duty Air Force Security Officer who was attending the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven last year. Mr. Fetters was openly carrying a holstered pistol, which is legal under Michigan law, as in most states. He was arrested and detained and charged with a violation of a Grand Haven city ordinance prohibiting open carry of firearms. His gun was initially seized, although it was later returned.

    Michigan law prohibits local units of government from making any law with respect to firearms, (MCL 123.1102.) The public policy goal of the statute is to provide a uniform system of gun laws statewide so that citizens do not have to guess regarding what local rules might exist as they move from one locality to the next.

    The complaint alleges, among other issues, violations of Mr. Fetters' civil rights under the 2d, 4th, and 14th , Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and Article I, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution, which reads, "Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state," when he was physically restrained, disarmed, and subjected to verbal harassment and ridicule by law enforcement personnel.

    Criminal charges were later dropped by the Grand Haven City Attorney's Office, after being informed of the unenforceability of their ordinance. No allegations were ever made that Mr. Fetters ever threatened anyone, or in any other way disturbed the peace on the day of his arrest. He is demanding damages for violation of his civil rights as a citizen of the United States and of Michigan.

    The case has been filed in the U.S. Court, Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids and has been assigned Case Number 1:09-CV-00190.




  2. #2
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    This is the response I received 15 minutes after sending my original email.




    XXXXX:


    We are looking into the issue. I'm curious what other "illegal" ordinances you know of?


    Mike Trout, Supervisor


    Charter Township of Springfield

    12000 Davisburg Road

    Davisburg, MI 48350

    248-846-6502

    248-846-6538 fax

  3. #3
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    ...to which I responded....

    Supervisor Trout,



    I sincerely appreciate your prompt reply.



    Currently, I am not aware of any other ordinances that illegally ban fire arms in Springfield Township. It is my hope that the existing ordinances of Springfield Township be examined,and any ordinances that ban firearms, concealed or openly carried in or on Township property, offices, library, parks buildings or property, et al. be changed to align with MCL 123.1102.



    Again, my deepest appreciation for you addressing my concerns.



    Respectfully,



    XXXXXXXXX

  4. #4
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    quick rply from him keep up the good work.

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