UPDATE – MOC/MGO v. CAA/SMG (DeVos Place)
Lansing, MI -(AmmoLand.com)- Last month, Michigan Open Carry, Inc. and Michigan Gun Owners filed a lawsuit against the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA), the public authority that owns DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.
The complaint alleges that CAA enforced an illegal weapons policy against members of MOC and MGO under threat of trespass. Read our press release announcing the suit.
Recently, CAA and SMG, a private company hired by CAA to manage CAA's facilities, responded to the complaint. In their response, CAA and SMG effectively deny everything they can with no apparent regard to the facts of the case, or even their own comments to the media. Their response shows so little regard for the truth that it even contradicts itself.
On page 5 of their response, the defendants deny having a policy that “forbids possession of all firearms”, yet later on the same page, they admit to a policy posted online that clearly forbids all firearms. This denial also flies in the face of a notice recently applied to all DeVos Place doors, and comments by representatives of SMG to the media.
The defendants also repeatedly deny enforcing this policy against our members and “deny that any threat was made to” our members threatening them with criminal trespass. This allegation contradicts not only the police report, but also recordings, and again, the defendant's own comments to the media.
In essence, their response amounts to little more than a childlike “nuh uh!”.
Further, the response fails to provide any legitimate affirmative defense. Usually in cases like this, the defendant will at least try to come up with some tortured reason why they are not breaking the law. CAA/SMG made no such effort. We believe this is because the law is clear and they have come to the realization that they have nothing to stand on.
If we are right, then this lawsuit should have never happened. MOC and MGO put forward a considerable amount of effort to work with CAA and SMG before filing our suit. The only reason we are where we are today is because the public officials for CAA failed in their duty.
Once again, we believe this case is a shinning example of why preemption reform is needed. Legislation like HB 4795 would hold public entities and officials accountable when they knowingly fail to comply with State law. Entities created to serve you should not be able to violate your rights with immunity until someone sues them.
We look forward to CAA/SMG denying these allegations in court, and explaining why they doubled down on their policy after being told it was illegal. We've said it before and we'll say it again, this sort of blatant disregard for the law should result in criminal charges.
You can read the full response HERE.
MOC & MGO
Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
About Michigan Open Carry, Inc:
Michigan Open Carry, Inc is a Not-For-Profit organization that depends on our dues paying members to continue our operation. We are an all-volunteer organization. As such, no one is paid a salary and very few of the personal expenses of our officers are reimbursed. Won’t you consider joining us or renewing as a dues paying member today? If you need technical help with the process, please email [email protected].