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7 UCLA Crim. Just. L. Rev. 83 (2023)
A Framework for Prosecuting the Open Carry of Firearms at Elections

handle is hein.journals/uclaclj7 and id is 89 raw text is: 

                        QUIET RIOT:
       A  Framework for Prosecuting the Open
             Carry   of  Firearms At Elections

                       Matthew  A. Fogelson

     Individuals openly toting high-powered  firearms are descend-
ing upon America's  polling places, vote tabulation centers, and even
the private residences of election officials. While states are free to ban
firearms at election facilities, few have done so. Worse yet, statutes
designed to prevent voter intimidation are ineffective, as they require
prosecutors to prove intent to intimidate on the part of those who open
carry. While that may seem obvious, putative defendants will contend
they have no intent to intimidate anyone with their open display of fire-
power, and instead are merely seeking to prevent voter fraud or to
defend themselves. Consequently, voter intimidation prosecutions are
rarely brought.
     This Article identifies an innovative strategy to combat intimi-
dation by armed  individuals at elections: the common law offense of
riot. At common   law, armed groups unauthorized  by law were  con-
sidered riots and punished as such for causing public terror. All but
three states have either codified riot in their criminal codes or judicially
adopted  the common   law offense. Although  the statutory formula-
tions of the crime vary, in many states, including those where there is a
significant risk of election-related intimidation in upcoming elections,
prosecutors could effectively deploy the law of riot against those who
open carry at elections.
     This Article canvasses the law of riot in the fifty states, provides a
roadmap  for prosecuting the offense under the various formulations of
the law, and arms prosecutors with a much-needed  weapon  to disarm
those who seek to intimidate voters and election officials.

1.   Senior Staff Attorney, Advancement Project; Former Trial Attorney, U.S. Dept.
     of Justice. J.D., New York University School of Law (1995). The views and
     opinions expressed in this Article are solely the author's and do not necessarily
     reflect the views or opinions of the author's employer.
© 2023 Matthew A. Fogelson. All rights reserved.

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