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Can Off Duty Officer Concealed Carry in Court?

Jan 21st, 2019 Gun Laws Can Off Duty Officer Concealed Carry in Court?

The answer will depend on the written security policy of the individual court.  Police officers and other law enforcement officers are advised to check with the specific court prior to attempting to conceal carry.

Michigan law provides that any person with a CPL may carry anywhere in the State of Michigan unless otherwise precluded.  Most of the areas that are prohibited carry zones are set forth in Michigan Compiled Laws sec. 28.425o. Subsection 5 of this law sets forth the people who are exempt from these restrictions and who may therefore otherwise carry in weapons free zones. Provided certain licensing requirements are met, exempted persons include the following:

A retired police officer, retired law enforcement officer, or retired federal law enforcement officer, a private investigator or private detective, a corrections officer, a motor carrier officer or capitol security officer, a member of a sheriff’s posse, a parole, probation, or corrections officer, a state court judge, a court officer, a peace officer.

The statute sets forth specific types of licenses that must be obtained by the above individuals and/or the type of weapons training they must have to meet the exceptions.

Further complicating this analysis, however, is that some weapons free zones are not included in MCL 28.425o and this includes courthouses, which instead are covered by Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 2001-1, entered March 2001, which provides that:

Weapons are not permitted in any courtroom, office, or other space used for official court business or by judicial employees unless the chief judge or other person designated by the chief judge has given prior approval consistent with the court’s written policy.

Thus, exempted persons must check with each court. Some of these policies are available online.  For example, the Oakland County Circuit Court’s written policy provides:

No weapons are allowed in the Oakland County Courthouse, Friend of the Court building, or any court satellite offices. This prohibition does not apply to Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputies in the performance of their official duties, or to law enforcement officers appearing for court in the performance of their official duties only. Officers appearing at the Oakland County Courthouse, Friend of the Court building, or any court satellite offices on any personal matter may not carry a weapon or wear their uniform in these facilities. The Chief Judge may authorize an exception in extraordinary circumstances.

If you are an exempted person and wish to carry your weapon in an otherwise exempt area then you are advised to consult with an attorney prior to doing so.  Otherwise, you may find that you do not meet the specific required criteria and may inadvertently violate the laws of the State of Michigan.