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MI – GUN POLITICS – Judge blocks Election Day ban on the open carry of guns near Michigan polling places

A judge on Tuesday blocked a ban on the open display of guns near Michigan polling places on Election Day, agreeing with critics who said a Democratic secretary of state failed to follow state law with her sudden order. Gun-rights groups accused Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson of exceeding her authority in banning people from openly carrying guns within 100 feet of voting sites. She acted after authorities recently busted up an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. But Benson failed to go through a formal rule-making process required under state law, Judge Christopher Murray said. Compliance “is no mere procedural nicety,” Murray said. “Instead, our appellate courts have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the democratic principles embodied in the (law), which requires notice and an opportunity to be heard on the subject under consideration.” Earlier in the day, Assistant Attorney General Heather Meingast said lawmakers have given secretaries of state discretion to set certain election rules, including safety. Separately, armed critics upset with the governor’s orders about controlling the coronavirus have rallied at the Capitol. “There are dozens — we’ve had numerous complaints,” Meingast told the judge. “There are voters who are afraid. There are election workers who are afraid to go to work on Election Day.”  [full article]

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