A Michigan judge blocked a Nov. 3 ban on the open carry of firearms near polling places Tuesday.
Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray issued a preliminary injunction against Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s recent decision to bar the open display of guns at voting centers, according to The Detroit News. Murray said that the directive was more like a law of its own, rather than an interpretation of existing state ordinances, the local outlet reported.
“The Legislature has said: Here are the places you cannot carry a weapon,” Murray said during an emergency hearing in response to Benson’s open carry ban, according to The Detroit News.
“The secretary has expanded that. And so how is that in accordance with state law?”
Democratic Michigan Attorney General vowed to appeal Murray’s decision within moments of his announcement, as she said the directive was significant in regards to “public interest and importance to our election process,” the local outlet reported. Benson’s ban, which followed an attempted kidnapping plot of Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, was intended to prevent voter intimidation, according to The Detroit News.
Murray argues that there are already several laws on the books that disallow such conduct, according to the local outlet. The judge wrote that voter intimidation is a criminal offense and several polling locations like churches and schools already bar visitors from carrying guns, The Detroit News reported.
Several Michigan-based gun rights groups decried Benson’s ban and filed a lawsuit that insisted it was “conjured without any legal basis or authorization under Michigan law,” according to the local outlet.
Republican State House Speaker Lee Chatfield applauded the ruling and slammed the current administration for overreach, both presently and in the past. (RELATED: ‘Nerve Shaking,’ ‘Very Threatening’: Michigan Democrats Complain About Protesters Carrying Weapons In The State’s Capitol)
“Time after time the courts have struck down this administration when it overreaches,” Chatfield wrote, according to The Detroit News.
“Firearms. Line 5. Redistricting. Vaping. Emergency powers. Nobody is above the law. It can’t be sidestepped. We have a democratic process. It needs to be followed.”
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