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Should Libraries Be Gun-Free Zones? Patch Poll

A Michigan library staff reportedly made a man who showed up at a library party with a holstered weapon so uncomfortable that he left. “Nothing in the law says they have the right to be comfortable,” a spokesman for Michigan Open Carry says.

Should libraries be added to the list of places where weapons should be prohibited? (Patch file photo)
Should libraries be added to the list of places where weapons should be prohibited? (Patch file photo)

If you’re packing, should you pack your gun away in a safe place before entering a library?

The staff at a Michigan library thinks libraries should be added to the list of gun-free zones  after a man with a hostered gun attended a summer reading party for kids, MLive/The Kalamazoo Gazette reports.

A Kalamazoo Public Library staff member approached the man, who said he carried the gun to protect his young daughter. One of the administrators asked the man to leave, then called the local police department – as authorities had directed, when he refused to go.

Michigan Open Carry Inc. thinks the man’s rights were violated and the library should apologize.

Tell Us:

  • Do you think libraries should be added to the list of places that are gun-free zones? Take our poll and talk to us in the comments.

Rob Harris, a spokesman for the gun-rights advocacy group, said the library staff made the man so uncomfortable that he left. “I think that’s awful,” he told the newspaper. “...Unfortunately for them, nothing in the law says they have the right to be comfortable.”

No one disagrees that the man was within his rights to carry the gun, but the incident has reignited a debate about where weapons should be prohibited. The Michigan Library Association wants libraries to be added to the list.

"But just because something is legal doesn't mean it's the best idea," Gail Madziar, the association’s executive director, said.

The list currently includes:

  • Banks and credit unions
  • Churches
  • Courts
  • Theaters
  • Sports arenas
  • Day-care centers
  • Hospitals
  • Establishments serving liquor

Police and security officers and people with permits to carry concealed weapons are exempt from the list.

Legal precedent isn’t on the library association’s side. The Michigan Supreme Court declined last year to hear an appeal of a case raising similar involving the Capital Area District Library and Michigan Open Carry in which similar arguments were raised. The lower court ruled in the gun rights group’s favor.

Debbie Scott June 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM
I respect your right to carry .. both open and concealed.... Why will you not respect my right to not be scared of you and your gun!?.. I did not come to the library to be intimidated....My child ( and i ) have a healthy respect for guns.. and we choose to not be around them... Just because you CAN.. doesn't mean you SHOULD!
Steve Herrington June 18, 2014 at 01:42 PM
Debbie, we can't control what you're scared of. I can tell you that any gun free zone should scare the hell out of you however. When some criminal or nut job shows up at one armed, us legal cpl holders that have been thoroughly checked out and trained won't be. Our presence around you everyday unbeknownst to you keeps you much safer.
Gregg T Jenkins June 18, 2014 at 03:01 PM
Keep deleting it. I'll keep posting the truth! The 2nd amendment says: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Let's take a look at this. "A well regulated MILITIA, being necessary to the security of a free State," [Yes a free state needs a MILITARY to defend it's boarders.] "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" [Let's look at that line there. It outlines 2 rights here. To KEEP and BEAR arms To KEEP means to acquire, in most cases buy or to have handed down (by family.) And BEAR means to carry, and deploy as the need arises. That means we have the right to carry our guns openly or concealed, without restriction, and should the need become reality, to deploy said gun to the intended effect of ending the threat to your life and/or property (property being items and persons.) Not this is on a federal level. Your own state may have some extra stipulations regarding carry and deployment. If you think that only the police and military should be armed, and you think that the 2nd amendment was meant to signify that, you would be incorrect. Simply put, if that was the case, it would say "the right of the MILITIA to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This is worded this way because the PEOPLE had just gotten out of a 2 year war against a MILITIA! The 2nd amendment says the right of the PEOPLE not the MILITARY If you dont like guns, no one is forcing you to own one, or even to be around them. If you dont want them around you, when you see someone carrying one, leave. No one is forcing you to arm, you have no right to try to force anyone to disarm. You dont want to carry, that's perfectly fine. You dont have to if you dont want. but nowhere does it say that you can demand that I dont.]
Dan MacGregor June 18, 2014 at 04:30 PM
Three Things- -The article is not correct in saying any Concealed Pistol License Holder (CPL) can carry in the no-carry locations. -The survey is confusing because answering "It should be illegal to openly carry a weapon in Michigan" is a separate issue from adding libraries to "gun-free" zones. -Although the library folks overreacted, responsible gun owners have a duty to not just obey the local and state laws, but to also respect the societal norms of where you're at. Libraries should not be gun-free zones, but Dads at children's parties should use better judgment. Carrying concealed in this instance is a much better choice in my opinion.
Kyle Dyson June 18, 2014 at 04:47 PM
Actually dan a person with a cpl is excempt from laws restricting carrying in gun free zones as long as they open carry. A person with a cpl can open carry just about anywhere except a federal building and a few other places. Please refer to msp update 86. Why should my safety be jeopardized because you are uncomfortable

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