Judge Strikes Down Michigan Ban on Openly Carried Firearms at Polling Places

Protestors in Michigan openly carried firearms to a rally earlier this year. (Photo: Second Amendment March Facebook)

A judge in Michigan has struck down an order by the secretary of state that would have banned openly carried firearms at polling locations.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray did not rule on whether openly carried firearms can be banned at polling locations under the Second Amendment. Rather, he struck down the ban because Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson did not follow the proper procedure to create her rule.

“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 said in a written opinion.

“The court’s duty is not to act as an overseer of the Department of State, nor is it to impose its view on the wisdom of openly carrying firearms at polling places or other election locations,” he said. “More importantly, its constitutional role is properly limited to only declaring what the law is, not what it should be.”

Murry said that Benson’s ban should have been promulgated under the Administrative Procedures Act, allowing for public input and legislative scrutiny, according to the Detroit Free Press.

He pointed that Benson “could do absolutely anything regarding elections, and not have to comply with the APA (Administrative Procedures Act)” if her rule was allowed to stand.

SEE ALSO: No Violence, No Looting as Gun Owners Descend on Michigan Capitol to Defend Gun Rights

The decision comes as the Detroit Branch of the NAACP announced its intention to watch polling places and report instances of “intimidation.”

“They are on the case. They are aware of this, too,” branch President the Rev. Wendell Anthony told reporters, referring to the possibility of people carrying guns at polling sites.

“This is not a Second Amendment issue,” Anthony said. “This is a right to vote issue. We want people to have access to the voting booth unmolested, uncontested and unintimidated.”

“Why would you be standing out there with an AR-15 or AK-47?” Anthony asked. “What’s the purpose of that? Nothing more than intimidation and to try to discourage people from voting.”

SEE ALSO: Biden Tells Michigan Construction Worker He’s ‘Full of Sh*t’ After Being Called Out on 2A

Benson also argued that the recently foiled plot by right-wing militias to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has made voters afraid to go to the polls.

Now, “there are voters who are afraid,” she said. “There are election workers who are afraid.”

The Michigan legislature made the news this year when a group of openly armed protestors descended on the state capitol to protest the governor’s COVID-19 lockdown orders. No one was injured and no arrests were made.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Phillip DeWitt November 2, 2020, 9:42 am

    My state has a law not allowing firearms at polling places. The judge threw out a edit of the hired help not a law enacted by the legislature. Michigan needs to pass a law.

  • Bohica October 30, 2020, 4:01 pm

    “Why would you be standing out there with an AR-15 or AK-47?” Anthony asked.

    Well, Anthony, do you remember the marauding “black panthers” intimidating folks with baseball bats, tire irons and other weapons at polling places in Philadelphia? Yeah, it wasn’t so long ago, 2012. Police were called and refused to even respond. I live in a free state and such violence here would have seen a RAPID response by police or by the victims themselves.

    While I probably wouldn’t carry an AR15 to the polls, I can and do carry a concealed handgun. If the situation warrants, as backup, I’ll have an MPX in my briefcase.

    I don’t worry when I vote. Just be prepared for any eventuality!

  • Vlad Tepes October 30, 2020, 12:50 pm

    The Radical Far Right are always their own worst enemies and make it very bad for normal level headed gun owners. When non-gun owners are intimidated by nut cases from the Far Right Brandishing assault rifles and auto loading pistols in their faces they then are driven even further into the anti-gun camp and support those politicians that are trying to ban guns. Of course this is way to far over the heads of the Far Right who have not even a clue on how much they are damaging gun rights for everyone else.

    • Taxx73 October 30, 2020, 4:44 pm

      What in the bloody blue hell is an “auto loading pistol “? I’ve never seen my handguns ever load themselves. Your extremely limited knowledge of firearms is leading me to believe that you don’t now or ever have owned guns.
      TRUMP 2020!
      Remember if you come for mine you better bring yours!!

      • Rusty October 31, 2020, 11:54 am

        1953 patent for Strum Ruger:


        Nomenclature specifies autoloading handgun.

        It is one, of many, many, patents registered for “auto loading” pistols/handguns.

        The term “auto loading” was used by none-other tha John Moses Browning to accurately describe the function of his numerous patents.

        The fact you question the posters choice of words is evidence you are not familiar with common Gun vernacular!!!!

  • Jim October 30, 2020, 10:05 am

    It seems that hoplophobia is at pandemic level among segments of the population.

  • Hunter's Crack Pipe October 30, 2020, 4:41 am

    The clowns that planned to snatch Witmer were not “Right Wing”.
    They were a rag-tag collection of anti-government anarchists and dipsh*t “Boog Boyz”.
    Their identities are a matter of public record.

    • Andrew Ling October 30, 2020, 7:58 am

      Agreed. Nowhere in the USA will these idiots be accepted as mainstream Americans. Much less patriots.
      The government is designed to be the window of the people that made it. We have a majority rule by our
      choosing, good or bad. In the end, we are all Americans. The question is, how consistently American are
      we? Who seeks to divide us? Who are the anti-Americans? You have to sort these things out and cast your
      vote accordingly. Otherwise, you are just being marginal.

      • nathan h fryer October 30, 2020, 1:07 pm

        Thank You Mr. Ling…I couldn’t have said it better…There’s more to being an American than just saying it…It’s in your blood, your soul..to look back on history…I tear-up every time I see the paintings of General George Washington kneeling next to his mount, praying…in the cold bitter winter…and as they bravely cross the ice-riddled Delaware river. These men were passionate about ‘freedom’ and they knew what had to be done to achieve such freedom.

        • DELCO October 30, 2020, 11:12 pm

          Nathan I hear you 100%. That said what you described about Washington is awesome. Unfortunately the left, supported by the majority of those Hollywood frauds are trying to stomp out incredible American moments like you mentioned about Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and anyone they think helps continue our freedoms we all enjoy. Everyone should be terrified with what is going on with the censorship regarding any information that doesn’t help elect the corrupt Biden. When the NEW YORK POST , members of Congress are being blocked from posting legitimate information, then everyone should be shaken to the core. It is exactly what communist countries do. Remove weapons , block intelligent information, then divide to lower mass numbers. The Democratic Party currently in our country is going along without a single objection to the worst suppression of the American people in our history.

    • Vlad Tepes October 30, 2020, 1:05 pm

      Baloney. The kidnappers were Far Right Fanatics. The Far Right also deny that they are not Nazi’s either yet they are racist immigrant and refugee haters and haters of all minorities just as Hitler was. True Trumpites to the core. The Far Right scream incessantly about the Second Amendment but do everything possible to destroy the 1st Amendment which they hate with a passion. No deviation from the stiff armed “party line” is ever tolerated. Fanatics like the KKK and Proud Boys claim to be christians and then blaspheme even the most basic beliefs of the Christian faith.

      Example: Remember too that it was the prophet Jesus Christ who fed the poor and helped the less fortunate regardless of race which today would be called by the Far Right “Radical Liberal Socialism”).

      I find the words of the great Indian Chief Tecumseh. quite prophetic :

      When Jesus Christ came upon the earth you killed him. The son of your own God and only after he was dead did you worship him and start killing those who were not. Tecumseh

      • Taxx73 October 30, 2020, 4:32 pm

        Somebody’s T.D.S. is really raging! Read any news article from the Detroit area and you get the same b.s. this person is regurgitating. I live in the metro Detroit area and these anarchists posted their manifesto online. They also wanted to hang Donald Trump. They want to destroy all government.
        Vlad you really need to do a better job on your research than spouting retread CNN fake news.
        I don’t give a flying finger flip what color you are or what country you came from (as long as it was LEGAL). All I care about is safety, security and happiness for me and my family and friends and all legal American citizens. Take your race baiting somewhere else because I’m not buying.
        TRUMP 2020!
        Remember if you come for mine you better bring yours!!

      • Frank October 30, 2020, 6:52 pm

        I see “Vlad the Communist” is still making the liberal trolls happy. If you’re truly concerned about the 1st amendment Vlad, go troll your communist buddies at Twitter and Facebook. If that’s not acceptable, then head on back to your basement, and apologize to Mommy for staying out so late. She probably understands that it’s just your Bidenmentia showing again.

      • DELCO October 30, 2020, 11:26 pm

        VLAD get a clue smart guy. The proud boys number less then 10 thousand. The KKK ? Seriously? They are irrelevant genius. Vlad I guess you ignore that the previous administration used the full powers of our intelligence community to spy and find out information on the current president’s campaign. I guess you don’t care that not a single kid in the Baltimore school system is above 50% in basic reading and math skills. Yet the same democrat party has maintained power in areas like that for decades. All those generations of kids being denied the most fundamental skills necessary to thrive in society. That abortions in black communities are so common , that 20% of black high high school girls have double digit abortions. This is only the start of the atrocities committed by the democrats, and Vlad you are talking about the proud boys? Haha . VLAD you have swallowed all the BS fed to you by the left wing democrat controlled media. What are you going to do now Vlad blame it all on Russia. Things will never change until people like you Vlad start to speak out against the left , and the social media Kings who now control what you see , read , watch . Try thinking Vlad you might like it.

        • Rusty October 31, 2020, 12:04 pm

          Please let us know where you come up with the factoid that 20% of black high school girls have abortion numbers in the double digits. This is evidence of great import that our system is failing, and NEEDS to be reported.

          Also, what is the fetus count among other populations of teenage girls? Is there a figure for Asians, Latinos, Caucasians, Native Americans??

          BTW, IF your numbers are correct, these girls must be doing society a huge service, as if they didn’t have abortions, their race would very quickly become the majority race in America.

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