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.
“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.
Did you even bother to read my first post??
The article states Looman signed the offer letter before going to vote;if I were the jury ,he would be awarded damages for wrongful termination unless his actions were specifically and legally prohobited by the employment contract.
“No one needs a permit to openly carry a firearm in Michigan.......”
Unless you are in a school.
The guy was certainly legally correct to wear his gun into the school but he was just plain dumb or stubborn. Leave your pistol in the car while you vote or at home if leaving it in the car isn’t legal. If he had reason to think entering the school was dangerous, contact the authorities and voice your concerns.
I’m solidly for CCW but some common sense should be exercised when entering a school for the few minutes it takes to vote. This smacks of the guy being a publicity seeker.
OTOH, you never know when the criminal or nut will start something, but still, common sense should have prevailed in this case I believe.
You're right, I was wrong. To openly carry in a school a CPL is required. What I also found was that that's a Federal law and that the state has no such restrictions.....
Show me the ‘law’, because it doesn’t exist.
“PLACES off limits to firearms without a CPL: Sec. 234d (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), a person shall not possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following: a) A Bank. b) A church. c) A court. d) A theatre. e) A sports arena. f) A day care center. g) A hospital. h) An establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act (BAR).”
‘Schools’ are not listed as ‘off limits’.
“Opinion No. 7097 January 11, 2002 A person licensed by this state to carry a concealed weapon .By its express terms, section 234d prohibits certain persons from carrying a firearm in the enumerated places but explicitly exempts from its prohibition [a] person licensed by this state or another state to carry a concealed weapon. Thus, any person licensed to carry a concealed pistol, including a private investigator, is exempt from the gun-free zone restrictions imposed by section 234d of the Penal Code and may therefore possess firearms while on the types of premises listed in that statute. “
Of which ‘schools’ are not one of the ‘prohibited’ places.
No, he’s not right..
See my post below.
Schools are not on the ‘prohibited places’ list.
Ah yes... What a stupid man for thinking he could actually *use* a right he has according to your constitution.
Clearly he should have just given up his right. It’s not as if doing so will water it down and utlimately ensure that right is lost. /s
[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.]
Correct but he did have a signed offer of employment (i.e., valid contract) and so there maybe some financial considerations for this depending on the offer sheet.
You could say that but I view him as an effective 2nd Amendment activist. Personally, the more folks start exercising their right to open carry the more people will start to get used to seeing them and eventually accept it.
Kent County, where this occured, tried to circumvent Michigan's new "Shall Issue" law back in 2005 when they tried force CCW applicants to submit additional documentation not required by state laws when applying for the CCW permits.
Specifically, Chief among them was a form--requiring a physician's signature--attesting to an applicant's 'mental health'.
Predictably, physicians routinely refused to sign such a form. Without a 'Doctor's note', applicants would then be required to attend a gun board meeting in person or even denied their CPL effectively undermining the intent of the 'shall issue' clause within State's statute. Kent County was the only one of Michigan's 83 Counties to adopt such a requirement.
They were subsequently taken to court by the MCRGO and forced to adhere to the state statute.
Agreed it can be very tricky.
But why blame the engineering company? Mr Looman is some type of engineer. Due to the nature of their work the engineering company may have a policy of not employing any anyone who gets publicity that could be detrimental to the reputation and image of the company.
Could it be that the reporter made false or misleading statements about a man who was detained. A photo was published in addition to the article. A recognizable photo of a man who was only detained? IMHO that is a bit over the top when it comes to reporting.
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". At that point the prosecutor might have been wise to end his statement. However there was more to his written statement for all to read "But he used extremely poor judgment in bringing the gun days after a school shooting in Ohio", Forsyth said. Comparing Ohio to Michigan? Comparing apples and oranges? But the prosecutor just had to say more, Did he really believe that by carrying a gun into an elementary school that no one would notice and that no one would react? The prosecutor is running for reelection this fall? Free sound bites and media attention that make a politician look good are priceless.
The police only detained Mr Looman. Yet the prosecutor was involved? It has been almost 40 years since I was detained on a traffic stop, no prosecutor made a lengthy statement about my driving (speeding).
Mr Looman went to exercise his right to vote at a elementary school voting precinct.. I assume there were election judges and school officials present at that location since schools commonly used as places to vote. Just a guess on my part that this was not the first time the elementary school had been used as a place to vote. Could things have been handled better at the voting place-school?
One fact remains Mr Looman did not get the job as an engineer.
Who is to blame? (BTW I am including Mr Looman in that question).
I wholehearted agree with your remark " This could be tricky".
If we see the lawyers circling that might be the first clue.
You are correct in that statement but it is under state law only.
Under the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act, you can not take a firearm into the zone unless you have a state issued license, aka CPL.
“Federal Gun Free School Zones Act”
Yes. I just read up on it here.
But still doesn’t negate a possible lawsuit by the gun owner.
This is one of those ‘acts’ that needs to be fought rigorously.
If I read the ‘act’ correctly, even ‘home schools’ would be included if they are within the ‘gun free zone’, which is ridiculous in is scope.
It doesn’t even seem to matter if the school is ‘federally funded’ or not. A definite overreach by our government.
When someone is under arrest, they are told, “You are under arrest for...”. Except when a traffice citation is being issued. In that case, It is an “arrest” and the subject is signing the citation, which is a promise to appear. He is being released on his recohnizance.
A detention for investigation is just that, they are temporarily detained.
Quoting a funk and wagnalls is not the same as researching a Deerings. I think that is what gets most people confused.
“The prosecutor went out of his way to say I was being disingenuous or naive to be frustrated with police,” Looman said”
How is an expectation that LAW ENFORCEMENT personnel are knowledgeable about THE LAW being disingenuous or naive? Isn’t that the STANDARD for them? Since it seems to NOT BE THE STANDARD then maybe it is time to feed the Tree of Liberty.
We want to respect the second amendment, but if we want anyplace to be weapons-free, its a school.
These idiots must not even register what they are thinking....in other words, “we want to respect individual liberty and unalienable rights, except where WE RULERS decide not to.”
Maybe he was worried about possible intimidation from the New Black Panther Party.
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