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NEW ALBANY, IND. (WDRB) -- New Albany library leaders are criticizing a new gun-carry bill which takes effect Friday, saying it is dangerous.
Staring July 1st, people with concealed carry permits can bring guns inside as they check out a book. Indiana State Senator Ron Grooms, a Republican from Jeffersonville, explains, "The reason the bill was passed was to keep New Albany from having different regulations than Jeffersonville." Senate Bill 292 creates uniform gun carry rules across the entire state.
But New Albany's Library Director Stephen Day points out, "We have strange people in here anyway. We don't need strange people with guns."
New Albany library leaders sent lawmakers a letter denouncing the bill, saying it prohibits them from enforcing their long-standing policy against guns.
Libraries throughout the state are fighting the same battle. Day explains, "We just don't think a gun should be here where a kid can see it, may grab it, may be scared of it, whatever. Why stir up more trouble when you don't need to?"
Jodi Lukinovich brings her children to the library every summer. She had no idea about the change and is conflicted on whether she supports it: "That's a tough one, because I believe people have the right to bear arms, but I'm really not excited about my kids being around someone who is."
Senator Grooms voted in favor of the new gun carry law and says he would consider adding an exemption for libraries. But he adds, "The thing you have to remember is if we open it to libraries, where do we stop? Do we have a lot of gun shootings in libraries now?"
Day responds, "Common sense needs to rule."
The earliest Senate Bill 292 could be amended is in January, during the next legislative session.