Preliminary injunction allows guns at open meetings at Flint City Hall
FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) – A judge issued a preliminary injunction to allow people to bring guns to Flint City Council meetings.
The ruling, made on Monday, Nov. 20, would allow people to bring weapons to any meetings subject to the Open Meetings Act held at city hall, the city of Flint said.
However, the city said guns are still banned in other public spaces at city hall for other general business.
The city first announced that Flint City Hall had become a gun-free zone at the end of October.
However, on Nov. 3, a lawsuit was filed against the city of Flint and Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley in regard to the gun-free zone. The lawsuit claimed the ban on weapons infringes on citizens’ rights who lawfully carry firearms for personal protection, noting council members can carry personal protection.
“We have witnessed an AR-15 assault-style rifle carried at a city council meeting, as well as a person outfitted with a bulletproof vest,” Flint Police Chief Terence Green said. “This after reports of several threats against council members, city staff, and the mayor’s office. We have a responsibility to maintain public safety. The measures we have taken at city hall are much like those in court buildings, classrooms, hospitals, theatres, and airports.”
Neeley said Monday’s ruling exceeded a level of disappointment given the climate of gun violence in the U.S.
“We took a legitimate stance to attempt to keep people safe while engaging with their city government. We have seen horrific acts committed in public spaces. It is beyond disappointing that gun lobbyists can use legal tactics that render helpless our best efforts to protect residents. We look forward to the opportunity to have this lawsuit fully adjudicated to uphold the right of residents to remain safe in public meetings.”
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