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.”