Libraries in Michigan will not be able to stop people from carrying guns into the stacks, now that the state Supreme Court has weighed in. A state appeals court held last year that a firearms ban in Lansing-area libraries violated the state’s gun law, and the Michigan Supreme Court said Thursday it would not review the ruling.
The lawsuit began when a group of Michigan Open Carry members walked into a Lansing-area library with their guns out, in protest of the Capital Area District Library’s weapons ban. The library tried to enforce the ban, and MOC sued. A county judge upheld the ban, but a divided Michigan Court of Appeals overturned that ruling, holding that state law preempted any local units of government from imposing their own gun regulations. The majority acknowledged that libraries are not a local unit of government per se, but held that they should nonetheless be treated like local entities.
Several bills have been introduced to add libraries to the state’s list of gun-free zones that ban concealed carry, but the Republican-led legislature hasn’t taken action thus far. Even the state’s gun-free zones, which include schools, day care centers, and stadiums, permit open carry of firearms.