Michigan Lawmaker Introduces Bill that Would Make Owners of Gun-Free Zones Responsible for Injuries


In 2012, a shooter walked into the Cinemark Theatre in Aurora, CO and opened fire. Within minutes, 12 people were dead and 58 were injured.

At that time, it was legal for those with permits to carry concealed handguns in most malls, stores, movie theaters, and restaurants in the state.  However, private businesses were allowed to prohibit people from carrying firearms on their property.


The Cinemark Theatre chose to make their business a gun-free zone. The owners even posted a sign at the entrance of the building stating that it was a gun-free zone. Cinemark was one of only a few theaters in the area to ban weapons.

When the shooter opened fire, those in the audience were like sitting ducks. No one inside the theater had a gun which could have stopped the massacre quickly and saved lives.

And this scenario has repeated itself over and over again.

Second amendment advocate John Lott explains that concealed carry is much more frequent than many people realize. With over 4 percent of the adult population in Colorado having concealed handgun permits, a couple hundred adults in Cinemark’s movie theater #9 means that there is an extremely high probability that at least one adult would have a permit.

Bearing Arms‘ Tom Knighton reports that a Michigan state representative, a Republican, has introduced a bill which “would hold government offices and private businesses liable if anyone is injured during a shooting in a gun-free zone on their premises.” Knighton writes:

State Rep. Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Township, introduced House Bill 4975, which would revoke governmental immunity from lawsuits arising from injuries sustained on government property where guns are banned. Eisen is also the sponsor of House Bill 4976, which would make a government, business or individual that designates a property a gun-free zone responsible for the safety of individuals who enter it.

Eisen said the intention was to require a business or government that enforces a gun-free policy to take responsibility through measures like hiring security guards.


Eisen spoke to Knighton. He said, “I have to presume that no one will have a gun inside and I will be safe. They are telling me, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Eisen, this is a gun-free zone. You’ll be perfectly safe in here.’ We know that is not the case.”

Eisen added that if a government or a business will not allow him to carry a firearm to defend himself, they could be liable under his proposed legislation.

Knighton argues:

If you’re going to disarm law-abiding citizens, you should be required to assume responsibility for keeping them safe. You need to guarantee their safety while on the premises–and not just within the building, but also outside the building between the door and their vehicle where, one would assume, they can re-arm themselves–or they should be allowed to take care of their safety themselves.

So far, there are only two co-sponsors on the bill from what I can see, though that might well change. If you’re in Michigan, you may want to reach out to your House representative and tell them you want them to co-sponsor this bill.

After all, if you’re going to be forced to disarm yourself to someone else can have the illusion of safety, the least they can do is put their money where their mouth is. If “gun-free zone” signs are effective, then it shouldn’t matter if they’re liable for injuries, right? Of course, we all know better. More importantly, though, they know better too, which is why I promise you that none of the gun control groups are going to say anything close to support for this bill.


I couldn’t agree with him more.


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