I'm in the process of getting my CPL from the state of Michigan, and I'm wondering if U of M campus has a gun law that is separate from the state's. The state law says that a CPL holder cannot carry concealed on a school property, but after researching more I learned that a CPL holder can carry an exposed pistol in any pistol-free zone, including a school. I also know about preemption, which says that local ordinance cannot override state law, so my initial assumption is that I can open-carry on campus once I get my CPL. Please tell me if I'm wrong, and if so, can you tell me where central campus begins on all sides so I don't get arrested? In other words, which streets should I avoid when open-carrying with my CPL (I'm always talking about walking around while carrying, because I'm aware if I was driving it would always be considered concealed-carry, and is therefore off-limits because it's a pistol-free zone).
---- Response from UMPD ----
Mr. <my last name> –
Like all universities in the state of Michigan, the governing boards (in our case the Board of Regents) have made the campuses “weapons free zones.” At the U-M, in addition to state and federal laws, the Regents’ Ordinance (titled An Ordinance to Regulate Parking and Traffic and to Regulate the Use and Protection of the Buildings and Property of the Regents of the University of Michigan) is enforced on U-M owned, managed or leased property. The Ordinance can be found online at http://regents.umich.edu/ordinance.pdf
I’ve copied and pasted here the pertinent portion of the Ordinance that prohibits weapons on campus.
Article X: Weapons
Section 1. Scope of Article X
Article X applies to all property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the
Regents of the University of MIchigan and applies regardless of whether the
Individual has a concealed weapons permit or is otherwise authorized by law to
possess, discharge, or use any device referenced below.
Section 2. Possession of Firearms, Dangerous Weapons and Knives
Except as otherwise provided in Section 4, no person shall, while on any property
owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the Regents of the University of
(1) possess any firearm or any other dangerous weapon as defined in or
interpreted under Michigan law or
(2) wear on his or her person or carry in his or her clothing any knife, sword or
machete having a blade longer than four (4) inches, or, in the case of a knife
with a mechanism to lock the blade in place when open, longer than three
The Michigan State Police also have issued guidance that states that individuals can’t carry in locations in which it violates local ordinance.
Here is a link to a website that includes maps of the various campuses of U-M Ann Arbor including the map for Central Campus. http://www.umich.edu/~info/mapsAndDi..._centralCampus
---- My response ----
Thank you for the information, I am trying to stay within the law and exercise my 2nd amendment rights and you are helping me tremendously. I do have some follow-up questions about your response.
You said that the Michigan State Police (hereafter MSP) have issued "guidance" that states we cannot violate local ordinance by carrying a weapon, but I interpret that as a suggestion and not a law. Suggestions don't preempt my constitutional right to carry. Is that a correct interpretation?
So if I follow the ordinance (even though it seems the law does not force me to do so), and I understand you correctly, I can use that campus map as a guide for which places are off-limits to me while I open-carry, by looking at which buildings belong to U of M. As long as I avoid those buildings I am satisfying the ordinance. What about sidewalks adjacent to those buildings, do those belong to the university or are those public domain? In other words, can I still carry on campus as long as I stick to the sidewalks on the main roads, which (I think) are owned and maintained by the state of Michigan?
And here is a philosophical question for you: How does banning guns on campus improve safety? I have been threatened before while on campus and didn't have any means to protect myself because I'm a law-abiding citizen. It seems the ordinance to ban firearms actually helps law-breaking citizens because they know that nobody can defend themselves if they want to take advantage of the unarmed populace. I don't really need a response to this question, I just pose it rhetorically because the ordinance doesn't make any sense to me. I hope we can repeal that soon.
<my first name>