I just thought I'd update everyone on a preemption project I have been working on involving the Eaton County Transportation Authority (Eatran) and the progress so far. Early in January I noticed a couple of rules that they had posted on their website.
The first is this one:
No weapons, fuel or explosives allowed on the bus.
Which can be found here: http://www.eatran.com/page4.html
I also saw this one:
EATRAN will not transport firearms, explosives or flammable materials.
Which can be found here: http://www.eatran.com/page5.html
I notified them that I thought they were in violation of the Preemption act of 1990 and that they needed to look into it and get back to me. Well, after waiting a couple of weeks with no response I contacted the Eaton County Board of Commissioners and the next day I received a very brusque email from Eatran saying they would look into the matter "With out time constraints". So after another couple of weeks with no response from Eatran I refered the matter to My Representative, Rick Jones, who was very cooperative.I asked him to refer the matter to the AG. As a preliminary step, he contacted the Legislative Liaison at the MSP who gave the following opinion on the matter:
"I don't think an AG's opinion on this issue is necessary. There is
already case law on point regarding this issue. The courts have held
that "With the enactment of § 1102, the Legislature made a clear policy
choice to remove from local units of government the authority to dictate
where firearms may be taken" Mich. Coalition for Responsible Gun
Owners v. City of Ferndale, 256 Mich. App. 401( 2003).
Simply handing Eaton Co. an AG's opinion won't compel them to change their policy. The
next step in getting Eaton County to change their policies is to seek an
injunction like MCRGO did with Ferndale in the case cited above."
I sent this information to the Board of Commissioners and Eatran and asked them to respond in a timely manner so that I could avoid having to get an injunction. A couple of weeks passed and I finally got a decent response from them by email and also snail mail. While they didn't admit that they were violating preemption, they did state the following:
"In regards to your inquiry about the policy issues of "no weapons, fuel or explosives allowed on the bus" and "Eatran will not transport firearms, explosives for flammable materials", I have looked into this matter. Eatran strives to ensure safe, peaceful and comfortable transportation for all but Eatran may not refuse a rider who holds a valid concealed weapons permit from possessing a firearm while riding in an Eatran vehicle in accordance with state and federal law.The Eatran Board of Directors will be looking into changing their policy as to reflect this issue."
So the way they were dragging their feet in even addressing the issue makes me wonder how long it will actually take them to change their policy but at least they now know what the need to do. I'll update this when they actually change their policy.