Skip to comments.Man detained after legally bringing gun to school considers lawsuit, loses job offer (video)(MI)
Posted on 03/04/2012 6:38:52 AM PST by marktwain
GRAND RAPIDS Nicholas Looman said he was not surprised the Kent County Prosecutors Office found he complied with state law while carrying a gun into an elementary school voting precinct this week.
Hes disheartened with what he sees as a lack of understanding with open-carry gun laws and has hired an attorney to explore the possibility of a lawsuit against local law enforcement authorities.
Looman questions whether being detained in an office at Aberdeen Elementary School on voting day violated his personal rights. He is upset with how the whole situation was handled.
"The prosecutor went out of his way to say I was being disingenuous or naive to be frustrated with police," Looman said of a statement released Friday afternoon. The law is already on my side, all we have now is to make the public more aware of the laws."
In his written opinion, Prosecutor William Forsyth said Looman legally carried his pistol when he went to vote with the gun holstered in plain view at his waist. But he used extremely poor judgement in bringing the gun days after a school shooting in Ohio, Forsyth said.
Did he really believe that by carrying a gun into an elementary school that no one would notice and that no one would react?
Through a series of conflicting state laws and exceptions to laws, a person who is licensed to carry a concealed pistol can legally carry that weapon into a school, as long as it is visible.
Nicholas Looman Nicholas Looman Nicholas Looman comments about legally carrying a pistol. Watch video
The states weapons-free school zone law does not apply to a concealed weapons permit holder, but at the same time, a person with a permit may not carry a hidden weapon into a school, Forsyth said.
School officials are required by a state School Safety Response Guide to contact local law enforcement whenever a person with a gun enters a school building.
Grand Rapids Public Schools Spokesman John Helmholdt said he believes elementary staff acted correctly when contacting the Grand Rapids Police Department out of concern for students' safety. Forsyth said officers kept Looman in a school office only long enough to determine that he carried a valid concealed pistol license.
For Looman, this week has been an interesting one as hes received feedback from near and far. He said several state lawmakers have contacted him to acknowledge their support and to say they were aware of the situation.
As Looman walked into a Grand Rapids hardware store this week, he says he heard a Hey arent you that guy ? as a man recognized him from news reports.
But he also lost a job he was to start soon at a West Michigan engineering firm. Looman signed an offer letter for the position before he went to vote Tuesday. The company reportedly retracted the offer Wednesday after hearing of the open-carry situation.
Bad PR, Looman said he was told.
Helmholdt said school leaders want the state Legislature to look at changing the states open-carry law, for both student safety and to clear up what appear to be inconsistencies in goals about guns in schools.
Were saying that right now, there is a lot of confusion across the state, he said. We want to respect the second amendment, but if we want anyplace to be weapons-free, its a school.
Well, the state expects US to know all laws and comply with them even if they DON'T make sense, so even if the prosecutor feels that way about this law, why should this man NOT have had that expectation?
The gentleman carrying the gun has every right to exercise his right, in whatever way legally allowed.
Likewise, the owner of the company has every right not to hire him, if he doesn't like the manner in which he exercises his right.
A person has the right of freedom of speech. If a person doesn't like what he said or the manner in which he said it, he's not obligated to hire him.
2 or more people, with similar qualifications, apply for the same job, I'll hire who I feel more comfortable with. That comfort might include clothing style, grooming, language or dialect, hobbies or interests (rapport). Any number of things that are directly or indirectly related to the job.
If there is 1 job opening, but 2-3 or more candidates, only one is going to be hired, the other(s) will be "discriminated" against.
“If its not illegal to open carry in a school, why would school officials be REQUIRED to report someone with a gun?”
To ensure that there is an interaction with law enforcement, thereby making it cumbersome to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights. I would also sue for wrongful termination, since the employer stated that incident to be the reason why.
Built in conflict = deprivation or diminution of rights.
“In most circumstances it is illegal to carry in a school”
But not in this circumstance.
The school should know this and it’s not necessary for them to know if it’s ‘legal’. That’s not their decision to make.
So anyone with a gun strapped to their hip should be able to wander around a school? And it wasn’t the school’s decision; that’s why they called the police.
It appears Mr Looman has suffered a financial loss. The word damages comes to mind.
During a recession/depression will he be able to find a job that has pay equal to the job offer with a week or two? If not someone has a problem.
If we see lawyers lining up to take his case for 1/3 of any damages recovered we will have some answers very quickly as to who has harmed this citizen.
Upon further review...
You are correct.
Though the RIGHT to bear arms is a right. To conceal or open carry requires a permit. The school had no idea if this person was permited to carry, and so had the right to question or restrict said person. Likewise, police also had the right to detain for verifying purposes. The same as stopping a driver of a car and checking if they have a valid drivers license.
But according to the article
A person must have a permit to conceal carry, but in a school the gun must be visible.
Though the man was legal and following the law, the law dictates that one must have a permit to carry. The school had no idea if that man had a permit or not, so had no idea if he was or was not legally carrying, and thus had every right to call police.
On the other hand, if no permits were required to carry a firearm, and the man was not violating any laws. Then there would be a violation of ones freedom of exercise of rights.
I just don’t see any difference
v. ar·rest·ed, ar·rest·ing, ar·rests
1. To stop; check: a brake that automatically arrests motion; arrested the growth of the tumor.
2. To seize and hold under the authority of law.
3. To capture and hold briefly (the attention, for example); engage.
To undergo cardiac arrest: The patient arrested en route to the hospital.
a. The act of detaining in legal custody: the arrest of a criminal suspect.
b. The state of being so detained: a criminal under arrest.
2. A device for stopping motion, especially of a moving part.
3. The act of stopping or the condition of being stopped.
My nephew works for a large construction company here in S.E. Michigan. This past summer the president of the company offered to pay for the classes and license fees necessary to obtain CCW permits for all his job estimators and sales staff.........I thought that was pretty cool
In a word.. yes.
And he wasn’t ‘wandering around the school’. He went there for a specific purpose.
So it’s ok to give up ‘some’ rights just because you wouldn’t feel ‘safe’ because someone is carrying a gun?
How many more rights are you willing to give up because of ‘PC’ garbage?
“And it wasnt the schools decision; thats why they called the police.”
It absolutely WAS the schools decision to call the police and there was no reason to.
They only called the police because they feared the ‘big bad gun’ he had on his hip.
First. Was there an actual offer by the company TO Mr. Looman?
Or was he just a candidate for the job?
Next, did Mr. Looman accept the offer? Basically making a contract between him and the company.
If no offer was made, then I would think the company is free to pursue any other candidate that they choose.
If an offer WAS made, then it could be a legal issue of semantics.
Wasn’t this the guy who went wandering through the school hallways and when detained said that he was proving a point how easy it was to bring a weapon into a “gunfree zone”?
From a legal perspective there is a big defference. For example, if you’ve ever been pulled over for a traffic stop, you’ve been detained. It is only for the purpose of conducting an investigation and is generally accepted to be limited in time. If during that traffic stop the police determine that you are intoxicated, then you will be arrested and taken into custody where you will be processed for the purpose of further legal proceedings.
It sounds like they are addressing the "CCW permit holder" only since Michigan is an "Open Carry" state.
For what it's worth tho, I have a CCW permit and consider myself fairly knowledgable about state firearms laws and all that I've been taught and all that I've read has said that all schools are "gun free zones" meaning no guns at all.........
I learn something every day here......
With that being said, this should also bring up the issue of whether or not a school can prevent a teacher from carrying an open firearm without them being punished for it......
No one needs a permit to openly carry a firearm in Michigan.......
“A person must have a permit to conceal carry, but in a school the gun must be visible.”
Then it’s not ‘concealed carry’ at that point and the ‘visible’ gun rule should be considered normal ‘procedure’ under the law.
If that were not the case, then why have an ‘open carry’ rule to begin with?
By that reasoning, even the person with a ‘concealed carry’ in public would have the police called on them if even an inch of the holster was visible by accident.
Concealed carry laws are ridiculous on their face to begin with.
The Second Amendment has no such limitations on ‘bearing arms’.
“On the other hand, if no permits were required to carry a firearm, and the man was not violating any laws. Then there would be a violation of ones freedom of exercise of rights.”
And I hope I don't need to point out that in a neighboring state and a day before this incident a young man with a "big bad gun" killed three kids in a school. By your logic, if rather than concealing his weapon if he'd simply worn it in a holster, right up to the point where he pulled the weapon, no one should have been able to challenge him as to his intentions.
“It absolutely WAS the schools decision to call the police and there was no reason to.”
No. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/03/nicholas_looman_not_surprised.html “School officials are required by a state School Safety Response Guide to contact local law enforcement whenever a person with a gun enters a school building.”