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Parent group wants to make Mich. schools gun-free zones

May 11, 2015

Credit Paul Weaver / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of Ann Arbor parents is asking Michigan lawmakers to help keep guns out of Michigan's schools.

Dr. Sonya Lewis is spearheading a statewide MoveOn.org petition, urging the legislature to get rid of what some call the "open carry loophole."  The petition has more than 1,000 signatures.

Current state law says licensed adults may not carry concealed weapons in schools. But they can openly carry pistols.

The petition urges the legislature to pass a bill that would change the current law to prohibit licensed adults from openly carrying guns in schools.  "(The bill) would be unambiguous that nobody can carry a gun into a school, and that means concealed or openly," said Lewis.

The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee in February. 

Lewis said as a physician, she thinks the issue is a matter of public health and safety. "Having weapons in schools introduces a tremendous possibility for things to go horribly wrong," she said. "We don't want guns in schools because we don't want death and injury and increased risk and danger in our schools."

"I don't see carrying guns into schools as a protective measure in any way," Lewis said, adding that it's impossible to know whether a person carrying a gun into a school is a threat. 

Discussion about guns in schools was sparked when Ann Arbor resident Josh Wade carried a gun into Pioneer High School during a March 5 choir concert. Lewis was in attendance because her daughter was performing in one of the choirs.

The Ann Arbor Board of Education later adopted a policy to ban guns in its school district. The Michigan Gun Owners organization is suing the district over the policy.