Concealed carry at Oconomowoc library, city leader encourages

Oconomowoc's Common Council  voted May 3 on new concealed carry rules, but not everyone agrees the rules will keep people safe.

A building filled with stories, Oconomowoc's public library finds itself in the middle of a real page-turner. Allowing guns inside was never even a thought for mom Ashley Endres. 

"There’s nothing here other than us and the books," said Ashley Endres. "I would prefer not to – but I don’t have any control over what people do."

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Tuesday, the Oconomowoc Common Council unanimously voted to allow concealed carry in places like city hall after a decade-long ban.

"We restricted rights that shouldn’t have been restricted," said Common Council member Lou Kowieski.

Oconomowoc Public Library

Concealed carry is legal in Wisconsin, but not within courts or police departments. Oconomowoc's police department moved out of city hall two years ago. Now, Common Council President Matt Rosek says it is time to take the signs down at city hall.

"Why would our government – we as a government – be more restricted of people’s rights than Starbucks? Or Pick 'n Save? Or all the other places you can go with a concealed carry weapon?" he said.

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Rosek said the repeal should go a step further than city hall – and include Oconomowoc's public library.

"I would encourage the library to also consider removing their sign. All we end up doing is creating a soft target," said Rosek. "The mass shooters and the people who want to do evil pick the soft targets."

On Friday, Rosek told FOX6 News Oconomowoc is safer with trained concealed carry permit holders around. Not everyone sees it that way, but there is still a chapter of the story yet to be written.

"I don’t believe in carrying a gun just if you’re out to the library," said library patron Chris Lauder.

Library Director Betsy Bleck said the library board has not met since Tuesday’s Common Council meeting to discuss Rosek’s request. The board is scheduled to meet on Thursday, May 12.