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Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Applaud Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s Clarification That Open Carry of Firearms is Prohibited at Michigan Polling Locations

October 16, 2020

The Michigan chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, today released the following statements applauding Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Michigan State Police Director Col. Joe Gasper’s clarification that the open carry of firearms is prohibited within 100 feet of polling places, clerk’s offices, and absent voter counting boards in Michigan.

“Elections are a chance for all of us to make our voices heard,” said Emily Durbin, volunteer with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Today’s guidance protects the fairness of this process, which is a bedrock of our democracy.”

“This November will be my first time voting in a presidential election, and I’m grateful to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for reassuring voters that we can exercise this right without interference,” said Megan Dombrowski, a volunteer with the Wayne State University group of Students Demand Action and member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board.

The decision comes a week after the FBI announced that the agency thwarted, “a plot to violently overthrow the government and kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.” Two of the men arrested had participated in the spring rallies in which hundreds of armed extremists stormed the Michigan Capitol carrying AR-15s and displaying Nazi emblems and Confederate flags. 

Everytown recently released a report detailing the gun lobby’s decades-long amplification of far-right rhetoric and advocacy for laws that enable right-wing extremists in the United States to arm themselves. The report, which can be found in full here, also examines the toxic mix of conspiracy theories, guns, and far-right extremism in America.

Additionally, Everytown released an open letter in September in which 10 mayors called on President Donald Trump to condemn armed intimidation and vigilantism by anti-government militias and other extremists, highlighting the risks to public safety posed by private citizens openly carrying firearms under the guise of upholding law and order.

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