Iowa’s new gun regs are go. The Hawkeye State is now “shall issue” and allows open carry. Three days in and the state’s librarians are up in arms. So to speak. According to The Library Journal (LJ), they’re looking to ban firearms from their premises. “Susan Craig, director of the Iowa City Public Library, told LJ that the new gun law came up as part of that library’s recent Conduct Policy review and that after consulting with the city attorney the library is going to amend its policy to prohibit firearms in the library (concealed or otherwise). The policy will exempt police officers.” Hang on. Can they do that?

There is some confusion about the law. The Iowa attorney general’s office on December 30 sent two letters stating that cities and counties have the authority to regulate weapons on property owned or directly controlled by the local government, according to the Des Moines Register.

But Mandy Easter, the law librarian for the state library in Des Moines, told LJ that under state law as it now stands, schools and public parks are the sole exemptions to the carrying laws. Her library has been fielding numerous questions about the law from the public, including librarians wondering about exceptions.

It’s an important question. Although Iowa state law is clear about allowing firearms in public places (including bars) and not others (the aforementioned schools and public parks), gun right’s advocates worry that private owners and government officials could establish gun-free zones that make carrying impractical. Oh, and expose the public to danger.

The LJ article doesn’t provide much rational basis for the librarians’ opposition to concealed or open carry within their purview. (Surprise.) But we do get some insight into their hoplophobia.

“Our reasoning is that a public library is similar to a school, and schools are exempt from the new law…. [W]e believe that many of our patrons would be concerned if they saw people carrying guns in the library.”

. . .

“Our library is in a community center that houses the recreation center, the aquatic center, the telecommunications department, and the library,” she said. “You can imagine how busy we are with people of all ages…. Why would anyone want to carry a gun in plain sight in a public place? For the power, to scare people, for the rush?”

Yes! That’s it! They’re all gunloons on power trips! See what a psych course at a liberal arts university can do to help a person get a firm understanding of the world around them?

If one of these highly-educated people can spare a moment for a dolt like me, perhaps they’d like to explain what makes government property worthy exempt from the will of the people? I would have thought that taxpayer-owner properties should be the first place to reflect a democratic decision on the carrying of personal firearms.

Meanwhile, here’s all the reassurance gun rights groups are going to get . . .

Keokuk and Lee County are among several cities and counties considering a ban on all firearms on government property, including libraries, the Register reported.

“We’re not asking for a ban on guns here in Keokuk,” Police Chief Thomas Crew told the Register. “We’re just asking to be able to regulate them at what we call sensitive areas.”

8 Responses to Iowa Librarian: “Why would anyone want to carry a gun in plain sight in a public place?”

  1. They don’t want guns in libraries because guns are loud and people are trying to read. Pull out your gun there to stop a crazy from killing 20 people, and you’re just going to get “shushed.”

  2. You dont need a gun. When the crazy starts shooting the librarian will shoosh the bad guy. Besides, the “no guns” sign on the door will stop any crime anyway.

  3. Law librarian Easter is concerned that “our patrons would be concerned if they saw people carrying guns in the library.” It appears Ms. Easter isn’t able to comprehend how concealed carry works. You see, Ms. Easter, the operative term here is CONCEALED. As in hidden, protected from view, etc. No one will be walking around with a heater on their hip.

    Perhaps the oh-so-concerned Ms. Easter should take a remedial English course. It seems her reading comprehension has deteriorated since she earned that masters in library arts.

    • According to the article open carry is now permitted as well. Of course the librarians want to ban concealed and open carry.

  4. Again we focus on the legal belief that the crazy and criminal are actually those that obey the law. WE the PEOPLE need to understand that although most of US follow the law the criminals wont. A sign posted on the wall of any buiding wont do any good the librarian needs to look in the dictionary under the word criminal. I’m from Jersey a locked door didn’t stop the guy who broke into my home, certainly a sign won’t stop him from carrying a gun were he shouldn’t.

  5. Tactically open carry is a bad idea on a number of levels. If they notice it, BGs will target open carriers first. You also run into potential issues with cops: I had a Bloomington MN officer tell me that “If we get an armed robbery call here, you’re the first person we’re going to shoot.” Interesting use of force rules in that department, shooting the guy with the holstered gun in a red shirt that says SECURITY in 3 inch high letters front and back.
    But strategically . . . that is another thing altogether. From shortly after MN passed “shall issue” I tended to carry openly and yes, I did get flack from fellow activists who were concerned that the public “wasn’t ready” to see people carrying openly. I countered that the only way they would ever get ready is if they saw that middle-aged, overweight white guys who carried guns also held doors for people, and helped them get things off high shelves (I’m 6’5″). My argument was (and is) that the more people see open carriers, the more data they will have to fight the MSM and anti-rights mouthpieces. When Sarah Brady is railing about camo-clad, beer swilling, sister-marrying, pickup-driving, gun-toting rednecks, people will be able to say to themselves “Huh, he didn’t look that weird to me . . .”. And yes, I have had the cops called on me on numerous occasions and about half of those have been polite and friendly interactions, several have been less so (paternalistic lectures, cops not knowing the law, things of that nature) and a couple have been downright unpleasant (handcuffs, detention, etc.). But the more interactions we have with cops, the more the good ones will see that we are just regular folks, and the less the bad ones will be able to get away with abusing us. A couple of years ago I was detained (and Terry frisked, without reasonable suspicion) by members of the Roseville MN PD. They were insisting that I had a concealed carry permit and that open carry was illegal. I eventually was let go, and had a meeting a few days later with a senior member of the department who agreed that training was necessary without ever actually admitting his officers were wrong. But in the future, the RPD will no longer be able to legitimately claim ignorance on the subject.
    As an amusing aside, I was, that day, for perfectly good reasons, openly carrying two guns and had my BUG in a pocket. The cops removed the weapon in my shoulder holster, and my BUG, but it wasn’t until 20 minutes into the interaction that one of them tapped my hip and said “What’s that?”
    “That’s my cell phone” I replied.
    “No, THAT” he said tapping the full sized Para-Ordnance P-14 .45 caliber pistol on my right hip that they hadn’t noticed.
    “Jesus” said one of the junior cops, “next time I get in the sh!t I’m calling you for backup!”
    The Sargeant found it less than funny though. I think he was a little embarrassed.

  6. In answer to the Librarian’s question: “Why…?”, the simplest answer is, we do it for the same reason that one might fly a Gadsden flag or drive around with a “Don’t tread on me” bumpersticker? With good will toward all, it’s a simple announcement that those with ill intent should seek their prey elsewhere.

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