House Bills 4127 and 4128 are scheduled to be taken up by the Senates Elections and Ethics Committee tomorrow, Wednesday, February 7 at 3:00 PM. These bills have already passed the Michigan House on a party line vote of 56-53 last November. We anticipate they will be considered by the full Senate soon. MCRGO opposes the bills.
House Bill 4127 prohibits the possession of firearms at or within 100 feet of a polling place during election day. The bill also prohibits firearms possession at early voting sites beginning on the second Saturday before an election and ending on the Sunday before the election, and within 100 feet of an absent voter ballot drop box for 40 days before an election. The full analysis can be found HERE.
Consider the impact of this bill on legal carry outside the home. Many ballot drop boxes are located curbside within 100 feet of roads, streets, and sidewalks. There are several dozens of these drop boxes in each county. Kent County, for example, has 42 ballot drop boxes. Other than perhaps the one closest to your home, you likely are not aware of others you walk past while carrying for self-defense.
House Bill 4127 would make it a misdemeanor with up to 90 days imprisonment to otherwise legally carry an exposed firearm within 100 feet of a ballot drop box within 40 days of an election. Michigan has three regular election dates per year plus presidential primaries and special elections. That's at least one third of the year, every year, that these roads, streets, sidewalks, libraries, local government buildings, and adjacent businesses would be off limits to legal defensive carry outside the home unless the firearm is concealed or in a vehicle.
Michigan law already prohibits brandishing a firearm in public. Brandish is defined in MCL 750.222 as "to point, wave about, or display in a threatening manner with the intent to induce fear in another person."
If the intent of these bills is truly to prevent harassment and intimidation at polling places and ballot counting locations the bills would focus on brandishing at these locations. Instead, they target legal self-defense in general through a ban on simple possession of firearms including lawful open carry with or without a CPL.
Representatives of the following entities testified in opposition to the bills (2-28-23):
• Great Lakes Gun Rights
• Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners
• Michigan Open Carry Inc.
• Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections
~ Elections Have Consequences ~