In a policy reversal, individuals with concealed carry permits are now allowed to carry weapons inside Hartford’s Jack Russell Memorial Library. At the Library Board’s July meeting, a motion to reverse the policy of banning weapons in the building was approved by a 3-2 vote.
Library director Jennifer Einwalter referred all questions on the change to Library Board President Shari Purman. Purman, who voted in favor of lifting the ban, said the Board reached the decision after a thorough discussion.
“It’s an emotional issue,” Purman said. “The concern was about allowing individuals to exercise their right to bear arms. The only governmental building in the city, other than schools, to ban concealed carry is the police department, though there are some limited restrictions at the Rec Center.”
Purman said it’s unfair for people who can legally carry to not be allowed to have their weapon in the library.
“We can’t afford metal detectors,” Purman said. “So how do we know that people without permits aren’t bringing weapons into the library now while people who were granted a permit after a long process were not allowed to carry in the library? We’ll revisit it in six months.”
Mayor Tim Michalak, who was not at the meeting, said Thursday he’s long supported concealed carry.
The West Bend Library allowed it some time ago without any issues – just like virtually everywhere else in the state that allows it.