A judge struck down the ban on open carry of firearms near polling places imposed by Michigan's secretary of state. Gun rights groups moved to court to challenge Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's order, which prohibited the display of firearms within 100 feet of polling centers. Democrats in Michigan claimed that open carry was a form of voter intimidation.
Joey Roberts, president of Michigan Open Carry, noted that the ban was an attempt to suppress the gun owners' vote.
"Prohibiting the open-carry of firearms in areas where citizens cast their ballots is necessary to ensure every voter is protected," Benson said when announcing the ban.
Michigan's Democrat Assistant Attorney General, Heather Meingast, tried to prop the baseless ban during the court hearing. She alleged that her office had already received several complaints.
"There are dozens — we've had numerous complaints," Meingast told the judge. "There are voters who are afraid. There are election workers who are afraid to go to work on Election Day."
Judge Christopher Murray of Michigan Court of Claims indicated that Benson had failed to go through a formal rule-making process when imposing the ban as required by state law.
"Instead, our appellate courts have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the democratic principles embodied in the [law], which requires notice and an opportunity to be heard on the subject under consideration," Judge Murray said.
The judge pointed out that specific rules existed to address voter intimidation of any form, not just involving firearms. Additionally, open carry was already illegal in certain places, such as schools and places of worship.
Some sheriffs had vowed not to enforce the open carry ban. Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police also scoffed at Benson's orders.
Dean Greenblatt, Michigan Open Carry's attorney, described the ban as "raw abuse and assumption of power not authorized by law."
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel vowed to appeal the ruling.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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