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State Representative Threatens Lawsuit over Columbia Library's Gun Policy

Torie Ross

  COLUMBIA — A Columbia attorney for a newly elected state representative is demanding that the Columbia Public Library take down its signs prohibiting firearms inside the building.

State Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, R-Hallsville, sent a letter through her attorney Jennifer Bukowsky to the Daniel Boone Regional Library board claiming that the library is in violation of state concealed carry laws.

In the letter, Bukowsky threatened to file a lawsuit, a temporary restraining order and an injunction if the signs are not removed by March 10.

On Feb. 2, Toalson Reisch attended a League of Women Voters forum in the Friends Room of the library when someone attending the event overheard her mention she had a gun with her, the letter said. She said on Wednesday that she received a slew of hateful emails and phone calls criticizing her decision to bring the firearm, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

"It’s time to see the library honor its own policy and our law by changing its signage to reflect the fact concealed carry is allowed on library grounds," Toalson Reisch said in a news release. "My hope is that the board will take immediate action to respect the legal rights of gun owners.”

The board is scheduled to meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Virginia G. Young Room at the library. It was unclear Thursday afternoon if Toalson Reisch would attend the meeting.