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Challenge to Michigan gun law filed with state high court

Michigan Supreme Court
Wikipedia Media Commons
Michigan Supreme Court

A woman charged with having an illegally concealed gun in her vehicle is taking her constitutional challenge to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Kimberly Erin Langston filed her application Monday with the Michigan Supreme Court, arguing that the state’s concealed gun law is unenforceable under the Second and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Her claim, which is similar to other court challenges in Michigan and around the country, is that Michigan’s concealed gun law is inconsistent with the nation’s historic traditions of gun regulation at the time the Second and 14th amendments were adopted.

“Even if you’re not concerned about gun rights, I think we’re all concerned with how the U.S. Constitution gets interpreted,” said Langston’s attorney, Roland Lindh, after the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected that claim last month.

Michigan’s concealed gun law requires authorities to issue a license to carry a concealed pistol unless there is a specific reason – such a felony conviction -- to refuse. That’s in contrast to some states that give authorities more discretion by requiring applicants to state a specific reason why they should be given a concealed weapon permit.

"So, Michigan’s law is not onerous, and it does fit within constitutional boundaries," said Timothy Baughman, who filed a brief supporting the law on behalf of the Michigan Prosecutors Association.

“Except for certain exceptions having to do with prior convictions, the licensing authority has to issue the license if you request it,” he said. “So, this was simply an unlicensed person carrying it in the passenger compartment of a vehicle and the court said the Legislature can make that a crime.”

The case originated in Van Buren County. The prosecutor will have an opportunity to file a reply with the Supreme Court, which is not obligated to take the case.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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