The public libraries in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, are no longer a “gun-free zone” after the library board voted on Thursday to allow concealed carry effective immediately.
The motion to allow concealed carry in buildings received a 5-3 vote from the library board.
Oconomowoc’s library board just voted to allow concealed carry of weapons inside the building. 9 out of 11 public speakers tonight were against this change. A crowd walked out after the decision. pic.twitter.com/7fhk1z3atR
— Madalyn O’Neill (@newsmadalyn) July 15, 2022
“Signs prohibiting firearms and other weapons in buildings, like libraries, will be coming down following the board’s decision to change its code of conduct,” Fox6 reported.
“I think we live in rather dangerous times and I think the change allows people to defend themselves should the need arise, and God forbid that happens,” said Matt Rosek, Oconomowoc Common Council president.
“The message it’s going to send is if someone comes in trying to do evil, they’re not going to know who they’re going to confront,” he added.
“I think it’s just important for us to be able to defend ourselves should the need ever arise, whether that’s in the library, Target, or Starbucks,” Rosek explained.
More from Fox6:
Rosek said he worries the library is an easy target without allowing concealed carry on the premises.
“Recent shooters around the country have picked what they’ve described as soft targets,” he said.
“If someone is going to come into our city with intent of doing harm, they’re going to pick the library,” said one library board member.
The library’s director, Betsy Bleck, was not part of the vote but thinks the board did the best they could with a difficult decision.
“We take safety extremely seriously here at the Oconomowoc library, and everyone can feel assured we will continue to do that,” Bleck said.
Whether for or against the change, both sides say it comes down to safety.
“We live in rather dangerous times and I think the change allows people to defend themselves,” said Rosek.
“I am totally against it,” said Bonnie Voskuil. “I am not anti-gun, but we should not be living in fear. I feel safer without them rather than with them.”
The library director said the change is effective immediately. The decision comes after the city’s Common Council unanimously voted in May to permit concealed carry in other places, like City Hall.
Watch the video below:
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