LANSING — Bills prohibiting the possession of firearms at or within 100 feet of polling places and absentee drop boxes passed out of the Michigan House early Thursday morning, the latest in a series of bills aimed at protecting election workers.
Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou, D-East Lansing, is a primary sponsor of one of the bills.
“Amending our state law here is common sense — and the right thing to do,” she said in a statement. “Michiganders deserve to live in a democracy where their voices are heard and where they can cast their ballots free from intimidation or threats of violence.”
Those with concealed pistol licenses are still permitted to carry their firearm when otherwise permitted by state law. Violations of the law can result in a misdemeanor with up to 90 days imprisonment and a $100 fine.
Rep. Tom Kunse, R-Clare, said the legislation attempts to address a problem that isn’t a significant issue.
“They’re trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” he said. “The dropbox [measure] was just a simply feel good bill.”
Kunse said it’s already illegal to brandish a weapon at a polling location and added that he felt the measures were another step towards “chipping away” at gun rights in Michigan.
“It seems like we have the same conversation every time —just enforce the laws that are on the books, we’ll be fine. We don’t need more laws that don’t do anything,” he said.