An Alabama gun enthusiast complained that federal law should have trumped a state law barring him from bringing a loaded handgun into his polling station.
John David Murphy was stopped Tuesday when he tried to vote in the Republican primary at the First United Methodist Church of Alabaster, reported the Associated Press.
The church, like other precincts, displayed a sign on the door prohibiting firearms, which meant Murphy was not permitted to bring his holstered 9-mm handgun and two ammunition magazines into the precinct.
Murphy argued to a poll worker that his constitutional right to openly carry a weapon should take precedence over a state law allowing guns in public places unless otherwise posted.
The poll worker called a Shelby County sheriff’s deputy, who ordered Murphy to leave the gun in his truck before voting.
Alabaster police also were called as a precaution and left after Murphy voted and exited the polling station.
Several volunteer poll workers and voters said they were uneasy about another voter carrying a weapon into the polling place, but Murphy said he intended to complain about his treatment to county officials.
“Them being freaked out doesn’t trump my right to open carry,” said Murphy, who said he was a member of the advocacy group Alabama Gun Rights.
The sheriff’s department in Chambers County, near the Georgia state line, posted a message on its Facebook page announcing that weapons prohibition signs had been removed from precincts after a probate judge determined the new state law did not apply to polling stations.
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