President Donald Trump is calling upon his supporters to show up to the polls to watch for fraud, prompting fears of voter intimidation and violence on Election Day.
In Michigan, that’s made more pressing by the president’s debate urging for the far-right Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” and by recent charges against militia members for an alleged plot to kidnap the governor. Eleven states ban firearms at polling places, but Michigan is not one of them, according to the National Association of State Legislatures. So does that mean it’s OK to carry guns at polls? It’s complicated, and depends whether guns are concealed and the location of polling places: Openly carrying guns within 100 feet of polling places isn’t allowed, said Bob Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Concealed guns are allowed at polls, though, except schools, churches and other “weapon-free zones” where they are explicitly prohibited.
Michigan is an open carry state, which means it’s typically legal to carry guns in plain sight. And since the state relaxed concealed weapons applications in 2001, about 6 percent of the population, more than 616,000 residents, have concealed carry permits. Stevenson’s group is working with the attorney general’s office to clarify rules about guns on Election Day, but it’s an issue that’s caused confusion in the past. [full article]