Skip to main content
A Better Partnership
June 09, 2017

COA: The University of Michigan’s Ban on Firearms Does Not Violate the Second Amendment

The University of Michigan, and universities in general, qualify as “sensitive places” and therefore Second Amendment protections do not extend to them, said the Michigan Court of Appeals in Wade v. University of Michigan, No. 330555.

In 2001, the University of Michigan implemented an ordinance prohibiting firearms on any University property. Wade, the plaintiff, filed suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief claiming that the ordinance violated his Second Amendment rights. The relevant question was whether the ordinance regulated conduct that was historically understood to be protected by the Second Amendment in 1868, the time of the Fourteen Amendment’s ratification. The Court relied on District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that schools in 1868 were considered “sensitive places” and thus categorically unprotected. The Court then turned to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary to find that a University in fact constituted a school. The Court found that because a University is a school and a school is a “sensitive place,” Second Amendment protections do not extend, thus the University of Michigan’s firearms ordinance was lawful, affirming the lower court’s ruling.  Judge Sawyer dissented, arguing that the state legislature had pervasively regulated the area of firearm possession, meaning that the state had preempted the regulation of all other unit of government, and that preemption extends to the state universities.  

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.

ACCEPTCANCEL

Text

+ -

Reset