Michigan Judge Strikes Down Open Carry Ban At Polling Places On Election Day

Oct 27, 2020

A protester carries his rifle at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, April 30, 2020. Hoisting American flags and handmade signs, protesters returned to the state Capitol to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-home order and business restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit (AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

BREAKING: A Michigan judge has struck down Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s ban on the open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day. Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray issued the decision Tuesday. Unless it’s reversed by a higher court, it applies to voting places and absentee counting boards next Tuesday. The only exception would be churches and other places that are already allowed to forbid the open carry of guns. 

Judge Christopher Murray acted just a few hours after hearing a challenge from gun-rights groups. They 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. Critics argued that Benson failed to go through a formal rule-making process as required under state law.

Michigan's Attorney General intends to appeal. 

PREVIOUS POST: A gun rights group has filed a legal challenge to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s ban on firearms at polling places. Michigan Open Carry has also asked for a speedy hearing schedule in order to get the issue settled before in-person voting begins on November 3rd.  

PREVIOUS POST:

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's top election official says the state won't allow people to openly carry guns at or near polling places on Election Day in an effort to limit voter intimidation. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent the guidance to clerks just over a week members of two anti-government paramilitary groups were charged with taking part in plotting the kidnapping of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Benson's announcement also comes as some elections officials and voter rights experts nationwide are concerned about violence at the polls. Also, President Donald Trump has been urging his supporters to go the polls and "watch very carefully," raising concerns about possible voter intimidation.