Guns-at-polls case headed to Michigan Supreme Court

Guns-at-polls case headed to Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court is the next stop in a legal fight over whether guns can be openly carried at polling places on Election Day. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel say guns can be intimidating – especially in a contentious election. But gun rights advocates say the state can’t step on a right that’s guaranteed under state law. Michigan is an “open-carry” state, which means most people can carry a gun in open view without a license. There are exceptions – schools and churches, for example, can forbid them. Those often serve as polling places. Benson says she can ban openly carried firearms at all polling places because it’s about guaranteeing everyone the right to vote without fear of coercion or intimidation. “The polling place is a sanctuary for democracy,” she said, “and we and I as the chief election officer and we with law enforcement have every responsibility with law enforcement to ensure the calmness and the sanctity of that precinct, of that polling place is protected and that voters fundamental right to vote is unfettered.” But gun rights advocates say Benson is going too far – that she can’t use a generalized concern about a possible threat to stop residents from exercising a right. “While Miss Benson may have some personal misgivings about firearms, super-imposing those misgivings onto every person with a firearm and claiming that that person is inherently engaging in voter intimidation is, it’s asinine,” said Tom Lambert, with the […]

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