Library weapons policies considered

Although the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that patrons may carry guns into public libraries, local librarians say they aren't expecting a barrage of bullets among the books.
Marie Havenga
Nov 12, 2012


Loutit District Library Director John Martin said he's “disappointed” in the court decision that reversed a lower court ruling.

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled more than a year ago that patrons could not bring firearms into the Capital Area District Library in Lansing. But members of Michigan Open Carry, a gun rights advocacy group, sought to allow the public to bring weapons into public libraries.

The appeals court concluded late last month that it is up to the state, not local jurisdictions or libraries, to set firearm laws.

That ruling appears to be in direct opposition to current Loutit District Library policy. It states “all weapons (including but not limited to any firearm, knife with a blade longer than 3 inches, blackjack, bludgeon or club) are banned from library premises.”

Loutit rules allow only law enforcement and library security personnel to be armed.

“I think it's a little disappointing — especially in this day and age with what's going on in the world — that somebody would even think that it was a good idea to bring a weapon into a public place, especially a public place that's got little children," Martin said.

Martin said the library board's policy committee will likely discuss the ruling and how it affects current rules.

Martin has been Loutit's director for only 18 months, but he said he doesn't recall hearing about any incidents involving weapons at the Grand Haven library. He said he doesn't expect that to change because of the court ruling.

“We have a pretty responsible community here,” Martin said. “It started as an issue at the library in Lansing and a group of people who were trying to make a political point. Common sense generally rules. I don't expect any negative reaction here — I would hope not, anyway.”

Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Chief Roger DeYoung said he also doesn't anticipate any problems stemming from the appeals court ruling.

“Most people that have (carrying a concealed weapon permit) are law-abiding citizens," he said. "It's the people who don't have the (permits) that are causing the problems. I don't see any issue with it at all.”

Spring Lake District Library Director Claire Sheridan said that library's policy does not forbid weapons, nor does it state that weapons are allowed.

“It really does not specifically say anything about weapons,” she said. “It's in accordance with the law. Our attorney was very clear that libraries, in his opinion, could not forbid patrons to bring weapons into the library. Clearly, the courts stand by the law as it is now.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Yeah, same thing with movie theatres!!


Disappointing? Why? This decision does not allow people with ill intent to carry guns into the library. Only law abiding citizens are allowed to have guns. Furthermore, the hollywood portrayal of guns accidentally "going off" is greatly exaggerated, especially with the newer firearms available with all the built-in safeties. Guns are not living things.

Guns require human action to be fired. You would be surprised how many guns you pass by without your knowledge because of concealed licensees. I am comfortable with a pistol in my back pocket and have no fear of shooting off my leg. This is because I understand how my firearm works and what it takes to shoot it.

I think there should be certain positions (such as administrators) within our school systems that require a trained concealed pistol licensee to carry a firearm, or at least an armed security guard. This would protect our children rather than place them in danger.

Look up the rules for firearms in the State of Michigan. You'll see there are many laws protecting the innocent from poor firearm safety. This includes:

*No alcohol,

*No brandishing (must be in a holster unless in use), and you better have a really good reason to draw it and point it at another person; otherwise, it is considered assault with a deadly weapon.

*Murder is still seriously illegal, whether by gun, sharp pencil, heavy book, or bare hands.


I had written a 250 word Comment in regard to this article, but after reading "N8ary's" Comment I concluded that my Comment while being note worthy would only be redundant and truthfully, not as clear and well versed as N8ary. Therefore, I not only yield, but support N8ary's Comment.


Yeah libraries these days are ruff and tuff areas. People really need to bring guns with them when they check out books. Safety first!


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