DETROIT – A judge has blocked a sudden ban on the open display of guns near Michigan polling places on Election Day.
Judge Christopher Murray acted Tuesday, just a few hours after hearing a challenge from gun-rights groups.
They said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, had exceeded her authority in banning people from openly carrying guns within 100 feet of polling places.
Critics argued that Benson failed to go through a formal rule-making process as required under state law.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi has issued the following statement:
“We intend to immediately appeal the judge’s decision as this issue is of significant public interest and importance to our election process"
The Michigan Democratic Party also issued a statement on behalf of Chair Lavora Barnes regarding the decision.
“We are disappointed in today’s decision from the Court of Claims. Voters deserve the right to cast their ballot free from intimidation in any form. As Vice President Biden and Senator Harris have stated several times, ‘the soul of our nation is on the ballot this year.” Michigan will have record turnout in 2020 regardless of the reluctance of any court to consider the best interest of the voter. We will continue to support Attorney General Nessel and Secretary of State Benson in their efforts to ensure that every voter can safely cast their ballot on November 3,″ the MDP’s statement read.
In response to the decision, Rev. Kenneth Flowers of the Greater New Mt. Moriah Church in Detroit said, "Free and fair elections are the hallmark of our democracy. Voter suppression and intimidation must not be tolerated. We cannot allow guns to be brought to polling places to intimidate voters.”