GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A man carrying a pistol entered Aberdeen Elementary School -- a Michigan primary polling location -- Tuesday afternoon.
A Grand Rapids Police Department spokesperson told 24 Hour News 8 the man -- later identified as 25-year-old Nicholas Looman -- was trying to make a point that he could carry a gun out in the open to a polling place.
What Looman failed to realize, police say, is that it is illegal to carry any sort of weapon into a school or school zone.
John Helmholdt, a Grand Rapids Public Schools spokesman, told 24 Hour News 8 Looman was wearing a suit and the gun was clearly visible. A school staff member spotted the gun and Looman was not confrontational when approached.
Looman told 24 Hour News 8 that he feels election day is a good day to exercise his rights, but that he was not trying to make a statement.
"I have open-carried while voting before, I have open-carried in public schools in the past and it has never been an issue," Looman said. "I don't know why today was any different."
Looman said that state law says that he can carry a weapon openly even in pistol-free areas unless a "no guns" sign is posted.
Looman was allowed to vote and then escorted off the premises without incident.
The case has been sent to the Kent County Prosecutor's Office to determine if Looman will be charged with a crime. He has not been arrested at this time.
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