- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging a ban on guns in Ann Arbor schools, setting up a likely showdown in a higher court.

Michigan law bars local governments from regulating guns. But Washtenaw County Judge Carol Kuhnke said the law doesn’t define a school district as a local unit of government.

Jim Makowski, an attorney for a group called Michigan Gun Owners, said he will appeal.

“They are not allowed to regulate firearms, period,” he said of school districts. “They are trying to usurp the power of the Legislature, forcing citizens to turn to the judicial system.”

In August, a Genesee County judge in a similar case ruled in favor of a man who wanted to openly carry his pistol at his daughter’s school in the Clio district.

State law says anyone with a concealed pistol license may openly carry a gun in schools. But the Ann Arbor school district’s policy says a firearm on school property is considered an emergency. It March, a man openly carried a gun into a high school concert.

“Guns don’t belong in the Ann Arbor public schools,” William Blaha, attorney for the district, told the judge.

Superintendent Jeanice Swift said the decision was a victory for children’s safety.

“We are hard-wired to keep our children safe from any threat of any sort,” she said. “I don’t believe it is a teacher and administrator’s job to determine the intent of that person who is walking into a school.”

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