LANSING – State Representative Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) offered an amendment today to prohibit the open carrying of guns in schools and other sensitive areas. It would also add public libraries to the list of no-carry zones. Currently under Michigan law, guns cannot be carried concealed in gun-free zones, but there is no explicit prohibition on openly carrying firearms in these places. A recent incident at an Ann Arbor public school event, where a parent was openly carrying a gun at a performance in a public school, pushed Zemke to end this loophole in the law.

“We have had too many incidents in my district and others involving people openly carrying guns in what are supposed to be gun-free zones, making individuals, especially young children, feel unsafe,” Zemke said. “By closing this loophole, we will ensure that Michiganders feel safe in these sensitive areas.”

Zemke offered the amendment to Senate Bill 53, a bill to allow retired federal law enforcement officials to conceal carry in areas currently designated as “no-carry zones” for guns. His amendment, which would have eliminated the open carry loophole and added public libraries to the list of no-carry zones, was gaveled down and defeated by the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives.

The amendment is the same as HB 4261, offered by state Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing). Schor applauded Zemke’s attempt to close the open carry loophole and add public libraries to the gun-free zone list.

“Issues relating to firearms are always contentious, but we should all want to ensure that students, teachers, administrators and staff in our schools are safe,” said Schor. “Gun-free zones were created to ensure that people feel safe in sensitive areas, but open carry was not included at the time. We need to close this loophole and also add public libraries to the list.”