Gun groups sue Michigan Secretary of State for banning open carry at polls on Election Day

Gun groups sue Michigan Secretary of State for banning open carry at polls on Election Day

A gun rights advocate with an "I VOTED" sticker on his holster gathers with others for an annual rally on the steps of the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, May 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) AP A trio of Michigan gun rights groups are suing Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson over her directive for local clerks to prohibit the open carry of firearms at the polls on Election Day. While Benson argues the ban is within her powers to make elections safe, the lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims argues it forces people to choose between their right to vote and their right to bear arms. “One must choose one right or the other, but not both," plaintiffs argue in the lawsuit, if the ban stands. Michigan Open Carry, Michigan Gun Owners, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners and gun rights activist Thomas Lambert are the plaintiffs suing Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan State Police Director Joe Gasper. The ban “makes an unsupported correlation between mere possession of a firearm and voter intimidation,” the plaintiffs said in the lawsuit. Benson has no authority under Michigan law to make such a rule, they argue, asking the court to invalidate the directive in time for Nov. 3. Benson sent guidance on her directive to all clerk’s offices on Oct. 16. As Michigan’s chief election officer, state law says Benson has supervisory control over elections . Benson also cites MCL 168.31 , saying she has the authority […]

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