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Judge says he'll decide by end of week on injunction request over Flint city hall gun ban

A Gun Free Zone sign at the entrance to Flint city hall, Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
A Gun Free Zone sign at the entrance to Flint city hall, Flint, Michigan

A circuit court judge expects to decide this week on a request for an injunction against a gun ban at Flint city hall.

After several city council members complained about receiving threats, the city of Flint moved to ban guns and other weapons in council chambers.

Last month, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with the 67th District Court. Under the memorandum, in exchange for allowing the court to use space in city hall, the court’s own weapons ban would be expanded to include Flint city hall.

But three gun-rights groups and two individuals filed suit claiming the ban violates the state Open Meetings Act.

Plaintiff’s attorney Thomas Lambert argued in court Tuesday that the city “cannot be allowed to run roughshod” over the law, which outlines specific rules ensuring that all citizens should be allowed access to public government meetings.

Plaintiff’s attorney Steven Dolan argued in court Tuesday that if such an arrangement was allowed to stand, courts could “willy-nilly colonize public spaces” with such bans.

But City Attorney William Kim rejected what he termed ”slippery slope arguments.”

The case is being heard by 7th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Brian Pickell, who said he expects to rule on the request for an emergency injunction by Friday.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.