As a general rule, you can’t carry food and beverages inside a library; you have to leave your backpack in the depository; it is to the library’s discretion whether you may carry a camera; maybe you’re allowed to carry a 1000 watt stereo, but certainly you won’t be able to use it, and the same goes for a cell phone; in some special collections, you may be prevented from carrying even a pen. No one has ever bothered to question about the strict constitutionality of such rules, because they are self-evident. It takes just a bit of common sense to understand that they are in the library’s best interest, helping to safeguard its users and its holdings. But in the US, you can carry an AK-47…
Guns, particularly openly borne guns, do not belong in libraries, which thrive on an inviting environment.
Still, in a closely watched case in Michigan, the state Court of Appeals ruled that the Capital Area District Library (CADL) was exceeding its authority when it barred patrons from openly carrying firearms in library branches.
Michigan Open Carry challenged the ban after library security guards asked armed Open Carry members to leave the downtown Lansing library branch (including the teen area) on several occasions. The library’s attorney said the administration still believes it has the authority “to ban the open carry of weapons in its branches in order to protect library patrons of all ages and CADL staff.” The library board voted in December to appeal the decision.
Last month, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals declared Illinois’s ban on carrying a weapon in public unconstitutional, leaving the District of Columbia as the only place in the country that does not allow the concealed carry of firearms by civilians (and D.C. is being sued to allow this).