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Gun rights groups seek to block enforcement of new firearms law

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Public Domain

Gun rights groups are considering their next step after a Michigan Court of Claims judge denied their request for a restraining order to block enforcement of the state’s new firearms laws.

Michigan Open Carry and Great Lakes Gun Rights sued the Legislature, claiming violations of the Open Meetings Act because of limits placed on testimony before House and Senate committees.

In a decision issued Tuesday, Court of Claims Judge Thomas Cameron said the gun rights organizations failed to show irreparable harm if an injunction was not issued. Also, Cameron said they did not show the legislative committees broke the law.

“Therefore, plaintiffs have not established that the public interest will not be harmed if a preliminary injunction is issued,” he wrote in the official opinion.

The laws require guns to be secured where unsupervised children can’t access them and require universal background checks. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the new laws last week. Legislation still awaiting her signature would allow courts to approve temporary gun seizures from someone deemed a threat.

Tom Lambert of Michigan Open Carry told Michigan Public Radio that his organization will continue to pursue the case because all were not allowed roughly equal opportunities to testify on the bills.

“The issue here isn’t guns,” he said. “It’s governmental transparency and access to the democratic process.”

Lambert says they could appeal the denial of the injunction to the Michigan Court of Appeals or wait to fully argue their case before the Court of Claims.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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