Thursday, October 22, 2020

About That Open Carry Ban At The Polls

The local police and sheriffs are not happy with Secretary of State Benson's edict on open carry at the polls.

The Detroit News Michigan police chiefs' leader: Open carry ban at polling places not based in law

The head of the group that represents 385 Michigan police chiefs warned Monday that officers won't be able to enforce Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's ban on openly carrying firearms at polling places on Election Day because the edict is not based in law.

Well, they're right, because it's not based in law.

Arguably, the local Sheriffs and police can't legally enforce it even if they wanted to as that would likely violate Michigan's law on local preemption:

MCL 23.1102 Regulation of pistols, other firearms, pneumatic guns, or ammunition.
  A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols, other firearms, or pneumatic guns, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state.

See the issue - while it is not a local regulation, local units of government cannot enforce anything but state and federal laws regarding firearms, and the Sec State's edict is not a state or federal law.

Quite a conundrum for local law enforcement, neh?

 So of course the Attorney General then announced the Michigan State Police would enforce the ban if the locals will not:

 The Detroit News: Nessel: State police will enforce voting laws on Election Day if sheriffs won't

Nice of her to double down like that.

She's of course spinning this as a ban on voter intimidation, but there's been no incidents of open carriers intimidating voters as they go vote at the polls, and if such a thing actually happened, there are lots of existing laws to handle such incidents. 

This ban is simply a smack at likely Republican-leaning voters and a bit of extra-judicial gun control thrown in for good measure to appease her base and anger the Republican base.


Old NFO said...

Interesting... I'll have to pay attention and see how this plays out!

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

Wonder if there will be a legal challenge either before or after the election? if it is done after the election and struck down, it will serve as legal precedence for the NEXT election.

Aaron said...

Legal challenge is now being filed by an attorney that's a friend of mine. The major Michigan firearms organizations are signing on to it.

Hopefully court will grant an injunction on enforcement of this order prior to the election.