With more guns and more political polarization and violence, states need strong laws to limit risk. In Bruen, the Supreme Court recognized that prohibitions on guns in "sensitive places" — and specifically in "polling places" — were "presumptively lawful." Yet today only 12 states and Washington, DC, prohibit both open and concealed carry of firearms at poll sites. Ironically, the states with the strongest gun regulations — which had restricted the ability to carry guns in public generally, rather than prohibiting guns in particular locations — were made most vulnerable in the wake of Bruen. In fact, only one of the six states that had their laws struck down by the decision specifically prohibited guns in polling places at the time of the decision.
Now these states that once had strong general gun laws must scramble to enact new protections for elections. Although some states have banned guns at polling placessince Bruen, there is far more work to do.
This report evaluates the new risks that gun violence poses for U.S. elections and proposes policy solutions to limit those risks. Solutions include prohibitions on firearms wherever voting or election administration occurs — at or near polling places, ballot drop boxes, election offices, and ballot counting facilities. In addition, states need stronger laws preventing intimidation of voters, election officials, election workers, and anyone else facilitating voting, with express recognition of the role that guns play in intimidation.
Brennan Center for Justice: http://brennancenter.org/
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence: https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/
- Published by
- Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
- Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
- Document type
- North America / United States
- Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
- What to read next
- Beyond Law and Order in the Gun Debate: Black Lives Matter, Abolitionism, and Anti-Racist Gun Policy
- Firearm and Ammunition Taxes
- Leading with Action: Addressing Gun Violence with Executive Authority
- Linked data add horizontal_rule