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Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson informed election officials Friday the open carry of firearms will not be allowed near polling places.

The Detroit News reports Benson sent “guidance” to the officials, which said, “The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk’s office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear or intimidation for voters, election workers and others present.”

Benson also said, “Fair, free and secure elections are the foundation of our democracy. I am committed to ensuring all eligible Michigan citizens can freely exercise their fundamental right to vote without fear of threats, intimidation or harassment.”

She added, “Prohibiting the open-carry of firearms in areas where citizens cast their ballots is necessary to ensure every voter is protected.”

This means the open carry of guns is banned inside the state’s polling places and “in any hallways voters use to enter or exit them.” It also means open carry is prohibited “within 100 feet of any entrance to a building in which a polling place is located.”

WXYZ reports Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel voiced support for Benson’s announced ban on open carry at polling places, saying, “Michigan voters have the right to vote in person on Election Day free from threat and intimidation. An armed presence at the polls is inconsistent with our notion of a free democracy. I stand with the Secretary in her commitment to ensure that every eligible voter who wants to vote in person can do so safely and without fear or intimidation.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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