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Thursday, February 17,2011

Court blocks guns temporarily

The Capital Area District Library is granted a temporary restraining order against open gun carriers

by Andy Balaskovitz

This story was corrected Feb. 17.


Thursday, Feb. 17 — An Ingham County Circuit Court judge granted the Capital Area District Library a temporary restraining order Wednesday against anyone affiliated with a gun rights advocacy group who openly carry firearms in any of CADL’s 13 libraries.

Specifically, the order is “against members of Michigan Open Carry (MOC) or anyone acting in concert with them, or affiliated with them, or their agents from carrying weapons in any CADL library, branch or property,” according to a CADL press release.

Several members of MOC have tested the library’s weapons policy in the last few months by carrying weapons, including pistols and a shotgun, into the downtown branch. They have generally left when asked. A spokesman for the Lansing Police Department said this week that it cannot remove them because under state law the library is not exempt from Michigan’s pistol free zones.

An open gun carrier will be asked to leave. If they refuse, local law enforcement will be called to enforce the order.

Gary Bender, an attorney for the library, says in the release that the purpose of the order is to keep the library safe for children and adult patrons.

“We will take whatever lawful steps necessary to ensure their safety,” Bender says in the release. “That includes enforcing the terms of the restraining order with the contempt powers of the court.”

Anyone who violates the order may be found in contempt of court.

State Rep. Joan Bauer, D-Lansing, is considering sponsoring legislation that would add libraries to the limited number of other places, such as churches, schools and arenas, included in the state's pistol free zones. However, another legislator has proposed a bill that would eliminate pistol free zones.

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