The applicant’s attorney relates the following pertinent facts:
Mr. Wade works for the University of Michigan Credit Union. Mr. Wade holds a valid Michigan Concealed Pistol License. While open carrying in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mr. Wade encountered a campus police officer who told him if he brought his gun onto campus property he would be arrested. After researching the relevant gun laws, Mr. Wade determined that he could apply to the University of Michigan’s Director of Public Safety for permission to carry a firearm on campus.
Mr. Wade applied to the Director of Public Safety for the personal waiver in September 2014. His request was delegated to the Chief of the University of Michigan Police before being ultimately denied.
The University of Michigan’s powers, as an arm of the state government, are set forth in the Michigan Constitution, pursuant to which the University is given the power to exercise general supervision of its property.
Mr. Wade challenged the University of Michigan’s ban on the carry of firearms on University property under Michigan’s preemption statute. Mich. Comp. Laws § 123.1101 et seq. Michigan’s Court of Appeals has interpreted the firearms preemption statute broadly. In Capital Area District Library v. Michigan Open Carry, the Court of Appeals held that the preemption statute and Michigan’s state firearms regulations preempted the entire field of firearm regulations and that quasi-municipal entities are subject to the state firearms preemption. Furthermore, in Branum v. Board of Regents of the University of Michigan, it was held that—despite the grant of “general supervision powers to the University—the University was subject to generally applicable state laws.
In November 2015, the Court granted the University’s motion for summary disposition. Counsel for Mr. Wade filed an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals on December 4, 2015. .
The Michigan Court of Appeals consolidated two school district cases (Clio and Ann Arbor) which involved the Michigan preemption statute. Oral argument occurred in December 2016 and the Court of Appeals held the applicant’s case in abeyance until those cases were decided. Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in the two cases, holding that the two K-12 school districts were not subject to preemption and rejecting the argument that the Michigan legislature completely preempted the field of firearms regulation. Michigan Gun Owners, Inc. v Ann Arbor Public Schools, Mich. App. N.W.2d (2016) (Docket No. 32693) and Michigan Open Carry Inc. v Clio School District, Mich. App. N.W.2d (2016) (Docket No. 329418). The applicants’ attorney believes that this flies in the face of the Michigan Supreme Court holding in CADL v. MOC that the Michigan legislature had occupied the field. Those two cases were appealed to Michigan Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeals issued its opinion for publication on June 6, 2017, affirming the lower court’s summary disposition for the Appellee. However, the dissenting opinion was favorable to the applicant’s position and supports grounds for appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.
On July 18, 2017, the applicant’s attorney filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. A brief opposing was filed. On September 1, 2017, the applicant filed his reply brief.
On December 20, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order holding this case in abeyance until the cases of Michigan Gun Owners, Inc. v Ann Arbor Public Schools and Michigan Open Carry Inc. v Clio School District, were resolved by the Michigan Supreme Court. On July 27, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its opinions in those two cases.
On June 6, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order holding this case in abeyance pending the outcome of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York.
On November 6, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order granting the applicant’s application for leave to appeal. The Court ordered as follows:
The parties shall address: (1) whether the two-part analysis applied by the Court of Appeals is consistent with District of Columbia v Heller, 554 US 570 (2008), and McDonald v Chicago, 561 US 742 (2010), cf. Rogers v Grewal, 140 S Ct 1865, 1867 (2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting); (2) if so, whether intermediate or strict judicial scrutiny applies in this case; and (3) whether the University of Michigan’s firearm policy is violative of the Second Amendment, considering among other factors whether this policy reflects historical or traditional firearm restrictions within a university setting and whether it is relevant to consider this policy in light of the University’s geographic breadth within the city of Ann Arbor.
The appellant’s brief was filed on January 1, 2021.
The Michigan Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for January 12-13, 2022. The applicant’s attorney sought and was granted a stipulation for abeyance pending the United States Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Beach (Corlett, Bruen).
On November 10, 2023, the Court, on its Court’s own motion, vacated its order of November 6, 2020, vacated the June 6, 2017 judgment of the Court of Appeals, and remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration in light of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al. v. Bruen.
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