Group packs heat during library protest

Posted at 11:41 PM, Aug 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-16 07:39:37-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - A group of gun owners brought their guns to the Richmond Public Library to raise awareness and protest a policy they claimed could confuse gun owners.

The library's gun  policy reads, "Carrying concealed weapons is prohibited, except as permitted by law."

Virginians with the proper permits are allowed to carry guns inside the library. Pro-gun advocate Philip Van Cleave is pushing to have the rule re-worded over fears it could confuse legal gun owners into believing that carrying their gun inside the library is against the law.

“What if they had said 'We don't allow African-Americans, except if allowed by law. Would that be okay? I don't think so," Van Cleave said outside the library.  "[The rule] implies that no one is allowed to protect themselves on the property.”

Some library regulars were shocked to see dozens of people carrying guns walk into the library, a place where not even the security guard carries a weapon.

“I think the wording, you have to read it a couple of times to really get what they're [the library] saying," said library patron Andrea Hughes. "But I feel good knowing there's not people walking around with a bunch of guns."

Gun-control advocate Andy Goddard said the library's concealed carry policy is on point and called the protest over the wording ridiculous.

“If you have a concealed permit in Virginia, you should know the law,” Goddard said.

Acting library director Liz Triplett helped draft the policy and called it responsible.

“To show our patrons that we want to create a space that's inviting and safe,” she said.