Michigan Appeals Court Hears Guns in Library Case

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Do guns belong in a public library? Last March, a trial judge said no. Now, the ongoing debate has reached the Michigan Appeals Court.

"Your individual rights are being decided by an unelected library board," Dean Greenblatt, attorney for Michigan Open Carry said. "Not only that but it's really more of a political issue about gun control."

Michigan Open Carry believes firearms should be allowed openly in Capital Area District Library buildings because state law doesn't explicity give the library the power to ban them.

"That's the job of the legislature and the legislature has regulated firearms," Greenblatt said. "There are 100 statutes and acts that regulate the carry of firearms, the possession of firearms, where you can buy them, where you have to register them."

The pro-gun group argues the library, like cities, townships and counties, can't make policies that override state law.

"The library has opened a very large crack in the law that we don't believe exists, but they're exploiting it," Rob Harris, Vice President of Michigan Open Carry said.

The libary agrees local government cannot regulate guns, but says it is not a government, it is an authority.

"We are a separate animal if you will," Gary Bender, attorney for the Capital Area District Library system said. "We're not included in that definition so we can have our own rules regarding whether you can openly carry a weapon with in the Capital Area District Library and one of its branches."

Like policies banning skateboards, drugs or alcohol in the library, Bender says this is just another safety rule and a vital one.

"They were walking into the library, one fellow with a shotgun strung over his shoulder and other patrons didn't know, is this a terrorist act that's about to happen, is somebody going to get hurt?" Bender added.

The appeals court is expect to issue its decision in a month or two.

Until that decision comes, an order from a lower court temporarily banning weapons from the library and its branches will stand.

Michigan Open Carry plans to take its case to the state Supreme Court if this appeal fails.

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  • by Richard Location: Farmington Hills on Jul 15, 2012 at 05:45 AM
    Excellent points, they were my thoughts exactly.
  • by Tee Location: Dubbbs on Jul 13, 2012 at 09:11 AM
    The library is funded by the public, meaning legally they cannot deny the public from lawfully carrying firearms into their buidling open or concealed. They should face punative damages for breaking the law by denying lawful citizens from lawfully carrying onto their premises.
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Jul 13, 2012 at 08:32 AM
    There is no greater supporter of the 2nd Ammendment than me--I have my CPL and I exercise that right everytime/anytime I can--the way things are in Lansing right now, I won't go to my mailbox without my sidearm. If the knuckleheads in the open-carry group didn't walk around the library with their shotguns...this wouldn't be an issue.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 13, 2012 at 03:44 AM
    Wait, people still go to library's today?
  • by Mike Location: Brighton on Jul 12, 2012 at 09:45 AM
    I open carry my pistol in the libraries all the time and nobody says anything to me. The main reason I carry into the library is that I don't want to leave it in my car where sombody could steal it and harm somebody. I do have a ccw.
  • by Kasey on Jul 12, 2012 at 07:10 AM
    Dave PRIVATELY owned business can already ban weapons on their PRIVATE property. Carrying a gun in church is not allowed unless the person has permission...and Carrying in a school in not allowed UNLESS the person has a CPL and carries openly. Do some research before you post next time...
  • by Anonymous on Jul 12, 2012 at 05:38 AM
    No guns in public at all and it should be illegal to carry them at all. It just needs to be done away with this law which allows this. It just allows more idiots to have things they should never have and puts the public in danger because of it.
    • reply
      by Dan on Jul 12, 2012 at 09:35 PM in reply to
      Yeah, the only people that should carry guns are these scumbags that are killing each other on a daily basis in Lansing. Then they can use their illegal firearms on innocent people without fear of armed resistance. That sounds like a much better idea.
  • by Wilbur Budd Location: Lansing, MI on Jul 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
    Open carry and concealed carry with with a concealed carry license is legal in MI.The Libraries are public buildings. If they were private then the owners could say no firearms. It is legal to carry in the state capital. Yes you should be able to legally carry in a library.
  • by D Location: Jackson on Jul 11, 2012 at 02:10 PM
    So, two local units of government set up an authority, and now the authority thinks it is exempt from the laws that pertain to the originating two units of government? If that is the case, anytime local governments want to disregard state law, all they have to do is set up an "authority" and then they can make their own rules! The arrogance of CADL is staggering. Not only should they lose this case, their leadership should face punitive actions.
  • by Dave Location: Holt on Jul 11, 2012 at 02:07 PM
    I think EVERY business, church, school, etc., and homeowners should be able to ban weapons.
    • reply
      by Tom on Jul 12, 2012 at 05:34 AM in reply to Dave
      Well Dave, good news. Every business, church and homeowner can ban any weapon they want. However, schools cannot as they are a local form of government. Private property rights trump gun rights. That being said, CADL needs to lose this case. They should have lost at the lower level.
    • reply
      by Kasey on Jul 12, 2012 at 07:07 AM in reply to Dave
      Dave.. PRIVATELY OWNED Businesses can ban firearms on their PRIVATE property. Law states that Guns can not be brought to church unless permission is given and carrying in a school is illegal UNLESS a person has a CPL AND carries the firearm openly. Please do some research before you post next time so you dont look so ignorant
    • reply
      by Tom on Jul 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM in reply to Dave
      @Dave - "I think EVERY business, church, school, etc., and homeowners should be able to ban weapons." A private entity CAN already allow or prohibit whatever they wish on their private property, but what we're talking about here is PUBLIC property, ie. the Library.
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