Guns still not allowed at schools, places of worship on election day despite court ruling

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(WLNS)– On Oct. 16 Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced guns would not be allowed at polling places, in an attempt to prevent voter intimidation, but Tuesday a Michigan Court of Claims judge went against Benson and ruled the state will uphold the open carry law.

Despite the ruling, a state law still prohibits guns at schools and places of worship, which often serve as polling locations on election day. There are few exceptions to that law.

Not long after the court ruling, the attorney general’s office announced it intends to immediately appeal the judge’s decision.

While Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum did not disclose whether or not she believes guns should be allowed at the polls, she said, “I stand ready to make sure everyone’s rights are respected. I will not permit any voter intimidation at the polling locations.”

The Detroit NAACP branch announced Tuesday that its members and area attorneys will monitor polls across the city and state on Election Day for instances of voter intimidation or voter suppression.

The group said that if any such efforts are seen, or if any voters feel threatened by gun-carrying individuals “watching” the polls, police and prosecutors will be contacted.

In the court ruling against the secretary of state the opinion reads in part,

“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 US Constitution prevents the Secretary of State’s October 16, 2020 directive. After all, 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. Besides the fact that the Court has no interest in either one of those matters, more importantly its constitutional role is properly limited to only declaring what the law is, not what it should be.”

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