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Politics & Government

Gun rights groups challenge Secretary of State’s ban on openly carrying firearms at polling places

voter booth
Lindsey Smith
/
Michigan Radio
Gun rights groups challenge Secretary of State’s ban on openly carrying firearms at or near polling places.";

Gun rights groups are trying to reverse Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s ban on openly carrying firearms where people will vote or where ballots are counted on Election Day. Benson’s office said she has a legal duty to protect voters and poll workers from intimidation, harassment, and coercion.

Three groups filed a lawsuit Friday in the Michigan Court of Claims. Dean Greenblatt is an attorney for the group Michigan Open Carry. He says Benson is acting outside her authority.

“The Legislature is solely responsible for time, place, manner, restrictions, and also to ensure the purity of elections under the constitution. The Secretary of State doesn’t have any say in this,” Greenblatt said.

He says people should not have to choose between their right to vote and their right to bear arms. The lawsuit asks for an accelerated schedule for briefs and oral arguments so the issue can be settled before Election Day.

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