Laws involving gun-free zones vary, and there is no official legal definition for the term. But in the broadest sense, these zones are meant to help reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths in certain designated locations, like courthouses, hospitals, houses of religious worship. Being called a gun-free zone in Michigan — or in other places throughout the country — does not necessarily mean a space is entirely free of guns. Under Michigan law, for example, people are able to open carry a pistol or legally open carry a rifle into many of these spaces.

Dr. Patrick Carter speaks with PBS News Hour about whether these zones are effective and the lack of research behind them.