Not sure if you can bring your gun to the polls? Here’s what you need to know. There are six states that outright ban guns at polling places: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
Arizona: The Arizona Department of Public Safety prohibits bringing firearms to polling places on Election Day; peace officers are exempt.
California: According to the state’s Election Code, it is illegal to bring a firearm to the polls unless given written authorization from the appropriate city or county elections official. Peace officers, private guards and security personnel are not except.
Florida: Even if you have a concealed carry permit, you are not allowed to carry a firearm into a polling place in Florida.
Georgia: House Bill 492 states that no firearms (concealed or open carry) are allowed within 150 feet of a polling station.
Louisiana: It is illegal to carrying a firearm into a polling place in Louisiana, even if you have a concealed carry handgun permit.
Texas: Texas law states that you cannot carry a handgun onto the premises of a polling place “on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress.”
Things are a bit trickier in Wisconsin. Whether or not you can carry your firearm into a polling place depends on the municipality. “If the municipality does not designate polling places as gun-free zones, then it is up to the owner of the building where voting takes place,” Reid Magney, Public Information Officer for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, told CNN. “There is no blanket policy for the state of Wisconsin – it’s a local decision. There are 1,854 municipalities in Wisconsin, and each of them may decide whether to set a policy on firearms.”
Many election officials have expressed their concern over the lack of laws against bringing firearms to polling places. They fear allowing guns will cause voter intimidation and will leave them vulnerable to attacks. However, while most states may have no specific laws against bringing guns to the polls, there are usually other laws prohibiting firearms from being brought on school grounds or in government buildings—both of which are common polling locations. This is the case in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, among many others. Other common polling locations, like churches, are also often gun free zones.