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Should You Be Allowed to Openly Carry Guns in Libraries?

The Baldwin Public Library Board is requesting local lawmakers add libraries to the list of places where openly carrying firearms is not allowed.

Should people be allowed to openly carry guns in Michigan's libraries?

The Board doesn't think you should, and they're appealing to area lawmakers to change Michigan's open carry law.

According to a letter sent to State Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham) and State Sen. John Pappageorge (R-Troy), the movement was spurred by a group of open carry advocates who came to the library on June 11, all of which were carrying weapons.

The group was part of a , who was then facing charges after in early April. of all charges by a jury in 48th District Court last week.

"These individuals' presence inflicted fear in some of Baldwin's staff, disrupting their work and adversely affecting Baldwin's efforts to foster an atmosphere conducive to constructive library usage," the letter, which was approved by the Baldwin Library Board at their Monday night meeting, read.

Despite filing an Incident Report with police, Library Board President Andrew Harris said Baldwin is "hamstrung" when it comes to preventing such incidents in the future — hamstrung, he said, because state law allows for open carry in Michigan libraries.

While municipalities aren't allowed to regulate the possession of firearms, according to MCL 750.234d there are certain exceptions when firearms are not allowed. These include:

  • Churches
  • Courts
  • Theaters
  • Sports arenas
  • Day care centers
  • Hospitals
  • Establishments licensed under the Michigan Liquor Control Act

Not on that list, Harris said, are public libraries.

"The Baldwin Public Library Board would like the Legislature to change the law to include libraries amongst places where citizens are precluded from carrying weapons," the letter reads.

"The Board believes a change in state law would greatly reduce the risk of a tragic accident at Baldwin, help foster a healthier environent for library usage, eliminate the chance that citizens would be afraid to enter the library and lower security costs," Harris adds.

This isn't the first time open carry laws have been challenged when it comes to Michigan libraries. Currently before the Michigan Court of Appeals is a case debating whether the Capital Area District Library system in Lansing has the right to banish openly-carried firearms.

According to MLive, the library system was granted a permanent injunction to prohibit the open carry of firearms in Ingham County Circuit Court last year. That decision was appealed by Michigan Open Carry. A decision is expected to be issued by the end of the month.

David Doerr July 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM
@burton, First, thank you very much for your service. Now, with all due respect intended, I think you should keep in mind that your experience could well be that of someone who retired 14 years ago. Fact is, while I'm sure your misgivings are quite justified from your experience, there has been plenty of time/opportunity for reality to prove them, and it simply hasn't. Michigan has had, "shall issue" for over ten years with over 300,000 people licensed to carry. Florida has had theirs over 20 years, and that's just a start as a majority of the states now allow lawful carry in one form or another. Regardless of what your "experience" is (as well as many of the similar beliefs of many others. For they really are just the same tired arguments that the anti-gun crowd has been using for … well, since I can remember.), it's less common than you would think.That "cat" is out of the "bag". The only thing gun restrictions do is burden the law abiding. They don't prevent crime. They don't increase/enhance/improve/etc... Safety. They don't protect,”...The Children!”
Danny Griffin July 26, 2012 at 04:30 AM
@Burton > Mr. Griffin: Don't have to justify to you I wasn't asking you to, I only wanted clarification because your statement was confusing. You stated that you don't carry because of the inadequacy of other people. This made no sense to me. To answer you, I have thought of many common scenarios and how to handle them, realizing that any plan may immediately go out of the window. > how quickly can you clear you jammed semi-automatic, and reload, as the rounds are firing around you? Fairly quickly, I hope. I've never had anyone shoot at me. > can you shot from the hip? Yes. Also other point shoot, shoot from close to body (I always present from body outward), etc. > Do you know how to stop the slide from going back when the perp has the drop on you? Yes, grab the slide, direct first shot away from you. Subsequent rounds won't be loaded. You can grab over, under, behind, it doesn't matter. And yes, you are correct, this is all basic stuff. > My question to you is how many people know these basics and can carry them out with a sense of proficiency, I don't know, but what makes you believe you have the right to prevent others from having any means at their disposal to defend themselves and their loved ones?
Greg Thrasher July 26, 2012 at 01:36 PM
The entire gun debate is meaningless and only driven by special interests groups with a twisted agenda regarding the 2nd amendment. The majority of Americans will never encounter a crime in action. The majority of Americans will never discharge a weapon. The majority of Americans will never become a victim nor for that matter become a criminal. There is nothing fundamentally correct or civil allowing the presence of guns venues from schools to libraries. It is tragic that we have entire industries based upon the sales of guns. Our country of course leads the way in this insanity. America is the #1 arms dealer in the world. We sale weapons to dictators and countries that used our weapons on their own citizens. We now even have a movement in our country where many local governments are purchasing drones for operation on American soil. http://www.voxunion.com/drone-alert/ http://voiceofdetroit.net/2010/12/12/the-crime-of-reporting-crime/
Burton Knows July 27, 2012 at 05:47 PM
@Danny Griffin: Before I head back to the beach (Laguna Beach, CA that is) as I stated when this started over a week ago, this is my opinion. I'm not a legislator, don't belong to any anti-gun interest group, signed any petition, nor contribute money to any anti-gun candidate. If a ballot issue arises, however, where the voter (that means my single vote) can choose to toughen anti-gun legislation I will do so. And similarly, you as a voter can vote against it. No harm, no foul, just democracy at work.
Burton Knows July 27, 2012 at 06:03 PM
@David Doerr: Thank you so for the recognition. It's greatly appreciated. It's too bad that the general malaise in this country on municipal budgets is that deficits can be balanced on the backs of public safety, i.e., first responders, police/fire. etc. I saw with horror where my brothers and sisters in blue with the Detroit Police Department are forced to accept a 20% pay reduction AND a 20% increase in health care contributions under the current financial crisis. The starting wage for a rookie cop in Detroit is between $13-14/hour not including the increased contribution towards healthcare/retirement. Twice I was told by the DPD physician that I could get a duty disability retirement. But I could still walk/talk, was young (and probably a little foolish) and believed, and did, recover from my injuries and went back to full duty. Nobody put a gun to my head to take the job. But I sure as hell believed that my salary/benefits and pension retirement was secure and a agreement between me and the City of Detroit. How stupid I am. You are correct in that the "sky is falling" mentality that most law enforcement officials had regarding loosening CPL laws hasn't occurred. However, restrictions don't burden the public nor prevent one from protecting their loved ones, particularly in a person's home. That doesn't calm me on increase gun availability.

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