Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is pushing to ban open carry of firearms at polling stations during the upcoming election. The decision is facing fierce resistance from second amendment advocates in the state.
Michigan has long been a state with permissive open carry laws. But you may have to leave your firearm at home or at least conceal it when you go out to vote on November 3rd.
Firearms will be outlawed
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent a letter to clerks in the state informing them that open carrying firearms will be outlawed in all polling locations.
The open carry restriction extends to the clerk’s office and the absent voter counting boards on election day. The move would also prohibit open carrying within one hundred feet of any building entrance used by voters.
In a statement, Secretary Benson said “Openly displaying firearms may cause disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present. Fair, free and secure elections are the foundation of our democracy.
I am committed to ensuring all eligible Michigan citizens can freely exercise their fundamental right to vote without fear of threats, intimidation or harassment. Prohibiting the open carry of firearms in areas where citizens cast their ballots is necessary to ensure every voter is protected.”
Is Banning Open Carry Unconstitutional?
Jocelyn Benson is already facing harsh criticism for her anti open carry directive. State Representative Beau LaFave has accused Secretary Benson of fear mongering and preventing the people from exercising their second amendment rights.
In a statement to reporters, State Rep LaFave expressed his disappointment in Benson’s decision. “The idea that she must prevent people from exercising their second amendment rights for our elections to be safe and secure is absolutely false.”
He went on to pledge his unwavering support for the second amendment by saying, “The right to vote and the right to keep and bear arms are not mutually exclusive. No voter should be forced to choose between these fundamental principles.”
Spoken like a true constitutional patriot. America needs more men like Beau LaFave in office. He’s a strong supporter of the second amendment and he occasionally open carries his own firearms to show it. Here’s a picture of LaFave at the Michigan state house with his AR style pistol slung at his side.