Judge Blocks Michigan's Ban On Open Carry At Polling Places

Screengrab / WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 / YouTube


Michigan's secretary of state cited "disruption, fear, or intimidation" at the polls in issuing the open carry ban.

According to The Associated Press, a judge has blocked a ban on the open display of firearms near polling places in Michigan on Election Day, following a challenge from three gun-rights groups.

  • Those groups “said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, had exceeded her authority in banning people from openly carrying guns within 100 feet of polling places, and that she was forcing people to choose between their right to bear arms and their right to vote,” the AP reported.
  • Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray took action on Tuesday, blocking Benson’s directive issued earlier this month.
  • Benson said in the instruction to clerks:

“The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk’s office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present. Absent clear standards, there is potential for confusion and uneven application of legal requirements for Michigan’s 1,600 election officials, 30,000 election inspectors, 8 million registered voters, and thousands of challengers and poll watchers on Election Day.”

  • The AP noted that even if the ban were in place on Nov. 3, “it's not clear how many people may choose to ignore it. Some sheriff's in Michigan said they had no plans to enforce to ban, even prior to Tuesday's developments.”

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