Regarding Sensitive Places and Concealed Weapons

Statement on the Decision by the U.S. District Court Regarding Sensitive Places and Concealed Weapons

May 19, 2023

The New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) believes that all libraries should be accessible and welcoming, and that public safety is fundamental for libraries. Every service that a library provides depends on the safety of library workers and the community they serve.

NJLA monitors all legislation that affects public safety in libraries. For this reason, NJLA monitored A4769 as it worked its way through the legislature and was signed into law on December 22, 2022. This law prohibited concealed weapons from being carried in “sensitive places,” which included libraries. NJLA also monitored the case against this law that was brought before U.S. District Court Judge Renée Marie Bumb. On May 16, 2023, U.S. District Judge Bumb ruled against the sensitive places provision. The ruling will stand, pending an appeal, a legal process that may lead as far as the U.S. Supreme Court.

NJLA is looking into this decision’s ramifications for New Jersey libraries, and we will keep members informed about any response that NJLA can lead or help to coordinate. For now, NJLA urges all New Jersey libraries to review their code of conduct policies, along with their public safety plans and training.