ELECTION SITES; PROHIBIT FIREARMS H.B. 4127 (H-4) & 4128 (S-1):

SUMMARY OF BILL

REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Bill 4127 (Substitute H-4 as reported without amendment)

House Bill 4128 (Substitute S-1 as reported)

Sponsor: Representative Penelope Tsernoglou (H.B. 4127)

Representative Stephanie Young (H.B. 4128)

House Committee: Elections

Senate Committee: Elections and Ethics

 


CONTENT

 

The bills would amend the Michigan Penal Code to prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm at or near a polling place, an early voting site, an absent voter ballot drop box, in a city or township clerk's office, in an absent voter counting place or a combined absent voter counting place while absent voter ballots were being processed, or within 100 feet of any entrance to these sites for certain periods before an election, with some exceptions.

 

MCL 750.234d (H.B. 4127 & 4128)

 

BRIEF RATIONALE

 

Currently, an individual may carry a firearm in voting venues, unless that voting venue also operates as a school building, a place of worship, or another place prohibited by law; however, the increasing threat of election-related violence has led some to believe that firearms should be prohibited in all voting venues. For example, an April 2023 study by the Brennan Center for Justice found that 30% of election officials interviewed had been abused, harassed, or threatened because of their jobs.[1] As a result, according to testimony before the Senate Committee on Elections and Ethics, some election officials have left their positions out of fear for their safety. Accordingly, it has been suggested that Michigan prohibit firearms at voting venues.

 

Legislative Analyst: Abby Schneider

 

FISCAL IMPACT

 

The bills could have an indeterminate negative fiscal impact and an indeterminate positive fiscal impact on the State and local government. New misdemeanor arrests and convictions under the bills could increase resource demands on law enforcement, court systems, community supervision, and jails; however, it is unknown how many people would be prosecuted under provisions of the bills. Local jail costs vary by jurisdiction and thus costs for local governments would vary. Local revenue to local libraries could increase under the bills as any additional revenue from imposed fines would go to local libraries. The bills also could result in additional costs to local police departments and local court systems.

 

Date Completed: 2-21-24 Fiscal Analyst: Bobby Canell

Joe Carrasco, Jr.

This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.

 



[1] "Local Election Officials Survey April 2023", Brennan Center for Justice. Retrieved on 11-9-23.