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Judge rules against ban on open carry weapons at Michigan polling locations

The judge struck down the rule issued in mid-October by Michigan's Secretary of Defense

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Updated: October 29, 2020 - 11:47am

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A Michigan judge has struck down a state ban on open-carry weapons at polling locations and sites at which ballots are counted.

Christopher Murray, a judge in the state's Court of Claims, ruled Tuesday that the Michigan Secretary of State, Democrat Jocelyn Benson, did not abide by appropriate protocol when she initially instituted the rule in mid October.

Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel, also a Democrat, on Wednesday appealed the judge's decision.

"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 wrote in his opinion.

Said Benson: "As the state's chief elections officer, I have the sworn duty to protect every voter and their right to cast the ballot free from intimidation and harassment. I will continue to protect that right in Michigan."

Benson's initial rule was challenged in two different lawsuits – one filed by several gun-rights groups and the other by activist Robert Davis, who called the judge's decision "a victory for the rule of law." 

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