10/16/2020 – MI Secretary of State Offers Guidance on Guns

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Photo courtesy of the State of Michigan, Secretary of State office. 2020.

Michigan’s Secretary of State is offering guidance prohibiting guns within 100 feet of a polling place.  Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has issued her guidance to clerks throughout the state.

A letter sent out prohibit guns owners from bringing a firearm into a polling location.  This extends to Clerk’s offices and absentee vote counting locations.

Benson says the guidance, released less than three weeks before the November 3rd Election Day, is meant to eliminate confusion for both workers and voters.

“The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk’s office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear or intimidation for voters, election workers and others present,” according to a portion of the statement Benson provided to election officials.  “Prohibiting the open-carry of firearms in areas where citizens cast their ballots is necessary to ensure every voter is protected.”

The guidance does provide for law enforcement to enter a polling location with a weapon in carrying out their role.

Pro-gun supporters insist it is an infringement on their right to open carry and hint at the possibility of a lawsuit.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey appears to be in disagreement with this decision. The Detroit News is quoting Shirkey saying the Secretary is “making up firearm policies less than 20 days before an election.”