Michigan Judge Blocks New Ban On Open Carry At Polling Places

29 Octobre, 2020, 18:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson speaks in Detroit. On Tuesday Oct. 27 2020 a judge blocked a sudden ban on the open display of guns near Michigan polling places on Election Day. (AP

Nessel warned citizens to report any instances of voting misinformation to the attorney general's office, which will be open on Election Day from when polls open to when they close. In the brief, they argued that the ban on open carry of firearms on November 3 was to protect every Michigander's right to vote.

Gun rights groups accused Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson of exceeding her authority in banning people from openly carrying guns within 100 feet of voting sites.

Murray ruled Benson could create such a rule, but not without following a process outlined by Michigan's Administrative Procedures Act, which would take more time and require public input. The first-term governor has become a national figure with her executive orders meant to limit the spread of Covid-19. Separately, armed critics upset with the governor's orders about controlling the coronavirus have rallied at the Capitol.

Murray pointed out that the directive goes beyond existing state law about where the open carry of firearms is banned, and therefore is a rule that needed to go through the rule-making process of the law. "And, a rule not promulgated under the APA is invalid".

The goal of the ban, she said, was to protect voters from intimidation. "There are election workers who are afraid to go to work on election day".

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"It is important to recognize that this case is not about whether it is a good idea to openly carry a firearm at a polling place, or whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prevents the secretary of state's ... directive", Murray wrote in his opinion.

Saxton said his team is advising the 83 local sheriffs across the state to work with their local prosecutors and local clerks to ensure the safety of everyone on Election Day.

Benson and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, also a Democrat, vowed to appeal Murray's injunction. The Michigan Assn. of Chiefs of Police also had panned it. "I will continue to protect that right in MI, and we will be appealing this ruling", Benson said in a statement.

Without the directive, the state argues that Benson can not fulfill her duty to ensure a free and fair election, "and the public will suffer without the directive as many might be deprived of their right to vote in person".

Prior to the ruling, law enforcement officials across the state had questioned Benson's directive.

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