By Jon King /

An order of dismissal has been entered in a lawsuit filed by a Hartland-based firearms store against a local township.

The lawsuit was filed in 2018 by Oakland Tactical Supply and three potential users of an outdoor shooting range proposed for 352 acres on Fleming Road in Howell Township. The township’s board rejected the plan in November of 2017 citing their zoning ordinance, which does not allow for open-air businesses such as shooting ranges on agricultural residential land. The company argued that’s a violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which they say “secures the right to operate and practice with firearms at a range…”.

But in an opinion released September 10th, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman rejected that claim as “implausible,” saying that essentially the plaintiffs were asking the township to, “…make a sweeping amendment to its zoning ordinance…which would have permitted shooting ranges in two-thirds of the township’s land.” In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Friedman added that the “alleged ‘ban’ on shooting ranges is all the more implausible in light of the ordinance provisions that permit recreational facilities.”

In response, Martha Dean, an attorney representing Oakland Tactical, told WHMI that they are, “disappointed with the U.S. District Court’s decision, and they are assessing their legal options to vindicate their Second Amendment rights through possible next steps this federal lawsuit. An appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, sixth Circuit is one of the options under discussion.”