Court of Claims Rejects Relief for Michigan Gun Group Lawsuit

by Scott McClallen


Court of Claims Judge Thomas Cameron has denied immediate relief via a temporary restraining order for two gun groups that sued the Michigan House and Senate with claims alleging the bodies suppressed speech and violated the Open Meetings Act.

Great Lakes Gun Rights and Michigan Open Carry sued on April 13 to challenge gun restriction bills moving through the Legislature. The lawsuit, filed in the Court of Claims, says that the House and Senate – both dominated by Democrats – suppressed speech by not allowing gun rights activists to testify against the bills, thus violating the Open Meetings Act.

Cameron said that the groups could have filed the lawsuit sooner and couldn’t specify what rules the Legislature violated.

“Meetings at issue have occurred over the span of nearly two months, and so plaintiffs have had ample time to file this lawsuit and provide defendants with notice of their request for injunctive relief,” Cameron wrote in the eight-page ruling.

The court held the plaintiffs failed: To establish an immediate and irreparable injury; to identify what Legislative specific rules are and how they violated them under the OMA; and to show the balancing of harms and public interest weighed in favor of granting a TRO.

The plaintiffs allege that they were denied the opportunity to address the public bodies in committee hearings in each legislative chamber that discussed firearms safety legislation.

Cameron (pictured above) wrote that the complaints were vague.

“Plaintiffs have failed to identify what defendants’ specific rules are and how defendants violated them,” Cameron wrote.

Nessel’s office says that Michigan Open Carry did testify at two of the meetings, and both plaintiffs were able to submit testimony cards at all meetings, and additionally had the opportunity to submit written testimony.

The order is not final and doesn’t close the case.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a bill and sent it to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer  to establish “red flag laws” that empower courts to temporarily remove guns from those posing a danger to themselves or others.

The bill was one of many that the gun groups opposed, including safe storage requirements around minors and enacting background checks for all firearm purchases.

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on and Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Judge Thomas Cameron” by Thomas Cameron.




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