Michigan judge halts Benson’s ban on open carry of guns at polling places

Michigan judge halts Benson's ban on open carry of guns at polling places

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday that effectively halts Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s directive banning open carry near polling locations on Election Day The edict by Benson "smacks of an attempt at legislation" and lacks public input instead of following the regular rule-making process, Murray said during a Tuesday emergency hearing. Further, the state already has a law prohibiting voter intimidation, he said. "The Legislature has said: Here are the places you cannot carry a weapon," Murray said during the hearing. "The secretary has expanded that. And so how is that in accordance with state law?" Murray argued Benson could have implemented such a rule over a months-long process, but Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office pushed back. The need for this directive has grown during the last several weeks, specifically after the details of the alleged plot against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were revealed, Nessel’s representatives argued. "There’s no inconsistency," said Assistant Attorney General Heather Meingast. "There is no affirmative right to open carry in all places at all times.” Serial litigant Robert Davis and Michigan Open Carry, Michigan Gun Owners and Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners filed suit against Benson’s order banning open carry near polling places, arguing that it conflicts with state law, conflates open carry with voter intimidation and "is conjured without any legal basis or authorization under Michigan law." The lawsuit alleges the edict creates an ultimatum, the lawsuit said: Either individuals give up a Second Amendment right […]

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