Michigan judge sides with open-carry of firearms at polling stations

(Reuters) - A Michigan judge sided with gun-rights advocates on Tuesday in allowing the open carrying of firearms at polling places on Election Day and blocking enforcement of an order by state authorities barring such weapon displays to prevent voter intimidation.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, vowed to immediately appeal the judge's ruling, saying "this issue is of significant public interest and importance to our election process."

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, also a Democrat and the state's top election official, issued a directive on Oct. 16 prohibiting the open carrying of guns at polling stations, clerk's offices and other places where absentee ballots are tabulated.

Nessel and the head of the state police, Colonel Joe Gasper, joined in endorsing the open-carry restriction, announced a week after 13 men were arrested on charges of taking part in a plot by armed extremists to kidnap Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

At least three of the defendants were among hundreds of protesters, many carrying weapons, who thronged the Michigan capitol on April 30 as state lawmakers debated Whitmer's request to extend her emergency public health authority to order social-distancing rules aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus infections. Photos showed that all three men were armed.

Michigan is an "open-carry" state, meaning a firearm can be generally carried in public by its lawful owner without a permit, though that does not apply to churches, schools, libraries, hospitals and a handful of other public places.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Grant McCool)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In World

Thousands of protesting Indian farmers and police face-off at New Delhi border
Iranian president accuses Israel of killing nuclear scientist
Mara and Dona: Argentine twins a living tribute to soccer great
Recount in Wisconsin county demanded by Trump increases Biden's margin
Former head of U.S. election security calls Trump team fraud allegations 'farcical'
Los Angeles County to impose new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings
Iran tells U.N. 'serious indications' of Israeli responsibility in scientist's death
British, Irish prime ministers discuss EU trade negotiations
For Big Tech, Biden brings a new era but no ease in scrutiny
U.S. appeals ruling that barred Postal Service changes before election

Stories You'll Enjoy