Library District in Las Vegas sued after banning gun-carrying woman

Michelle Flores and her three children visited the Rainbow Library one day in mid-March, browsing the stacks for books to take home.

After an hourlong search, Flores checked out some reading materials, and with her three children in tow, proceeded to the library’s exit.

But she was stopped, and now she’s suing the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District over the events that followed.

According to court filings, library personnel summoned police, who handcuffed Flores and took her firearm, holster and five rounds of ammunition.

Flores was then given a notice of trespass and banned from the Rainbow Library and all other district libraries for one year.

“In 2015, the Legislature passed a law, Senate Bill 175, that reserved the authority to regulate the possession of firearms solely to the Legislature,” her attorney Jeffrey Barr said. “This case is about whether the library district must follow Senate Bill 175. Michelle Flores was banned from the library for exercising her constitutional rights.”

According to Barr, Flores wants the ban overturned and the library district to follow Nevada law, just as the city of Henderson libraries began complying a year ago.

After a meeting with Henderson Police officer Zane Simpson, questions were answered, and the Henderson library staff received notification on May 6, 2015. That notification read: “Generally, a person has the right to carry a gun openly, and he/she is not required to verify legal status with paperwork of any kind.”

Since then, Henderson Libraries has complied with the law, Executive Director Angela Thornton said.

“We had some questions initially,” Thornton said. “Some of the points weren’t clarified. We had staff and customers who were asking questions. I think initially, they were a little apprehensive. I think they weren’t sure where libraries fell into the mix.”

Thornton referred to NRS.265, which says a person shall not carry or possess a dangerous weapon while on the property of the Nevada System of Higher Education, a private or public school or child care facility, or while in a vehicle of a private or public school or child care facility.

“I think people felt we should have fallen under that category,” Thornton said. “Once we realized where we fell into the law, it was then all about compliance and making people feel as comfortable about it as we could.”

The announcement further detailed the actions of library staff should they observe a person who is openly carrying. Library staff are asked to notify a supervisor, observe the person discreetly, and if the patron is behaving normally, they should not be concerned, the announcement said. Only if a person is behaving erratically should staff contact police.

“We haven’t had any problems with it,” Thornton said. “I think staff have seen some open carriers, but they’re very occasional. Nothing that has been any kind of a problem or challenge.”

Open carry gun advocates would like to see the library district address the issue, and expressed their frustration during public comment at the district trustee meeting last fall.

One trustee spoke to the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a political candidate, not as a library district representative.

“I think it’s going to be something we’re going to have to take up in the Legislature to make that distinction (regarding where libraries fall when it comes to open carry),” Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod said. “I think it was a complete oversight.”

As a Democrat running for state Assembly District 34, she will face off against Republican Matt Williams in the November election.

“I worry about open carry in areas where I bring my children,” Bilbray-Axelrod said. “I’ve been going to the library with my daughter since she was 3 months old. It’s a place people would assume would be weapon-free.”

Karen Bramwell-Thomas, public relations manager for the library district, said because of the current litigation and advice of counsel, she could not comment on the litigation or the library’s firearms policy.

However, on the district website, the rules of conduct state “firearms are prohibited,” and cites NRS.3673. That statute, however, refers to concealed firearms.

Flores’ civil complaint against the library district says, “The district does not have the authority to ban Michelle (Flores) because the district does not have the authority to make rules relating to the open possession of firearms.”

The filings also say “the district’s conscious and willful disregard of the legal rights of Michelle (Flores) resulted in her public humiliation and emotional distress.”

Barr said her damages could well exceed $10,000.

“What price would a jury put on being humiliated in front of your children for exercising your constitutional rights?” Barr said.

Flores, who homeschools her children, filed an April 29 preliminary injunction seeking to restore her library privileges. The hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Eighth Judicial District Court.

The district’s counsel, Kelly Stout of Bailey Kennedy LLP, said the firm does not comment on pending litigation.

As of June 16, the library district has paid its counsel $1,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to defend the case, Bramwell-Thomas said. Because of the litigation is ongoing, the library district anticipates that additional fees will be billed and paid in the future, she said.

The actions that the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District takes could influence other library districts in the state.

Boulder City Library Acting Director Kimberly Diehm said she wasn’t even aware of the law. She said the library has a “firearms prohibited” sign on the front door. Diehm has been at the library for seven˜ years, and it’s been there the entire time.

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Find @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
Endangered Devils Hole Pupfish numbers enough for concern, but not panic
Researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Death Valley National Park came together at Devils Hole, about 90 miles west of Las Vegas, for a biannual count of the Devils Hole Pupfish, an endangered species. Their count this time – 87. (Video by Patrick Connolly)
Hickey Elementary Students Put Harry Potter on Trial
Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School students learned how the judicial system works by putting Harry Potter on trial for the illegal use of magic.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
The Clark County Museum Turns 50 This Month
The Clark County Museum has an extensive collection, dating back to prehistoric times in Southern Nevada up through the present day. It was first established in April 1968 and has had several locations before it's current home on South Boulder Highway.
Route 91 Artifacts Will Be On Display This October
Clark County Museum Administrator Mark Hall-Patton explains what artifacts will be on display in October as part of the museums Route 91 shooting memorial exhibit called "How We Mourned."
Bullet grazes woman's head
Las Vegas police investigating calls of a shooting early Friday morning found a woman who suffered a wound to her head. A bullet grazed the woman's head while she was inside her Village Square apartment on Nellis Oasis Lane. She did not have to be hospitalized, and police said she might have been an "unintended" victim. The shooting occurred around 4 a.m. Police are looking for the shooter.
Aces Host Draft Party
The Las Vegas Aces host a WNBA draft party at the Mandalay Bay for season-ticket holders, and have the number one overall pick.
Las Vegas man stands with president at White House
President Donald Trump delivered remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday about how the GOP tax cut plan helped working families across the country. To his left stood Richard Kerzetski, president of Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. in Las Vegas. Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Transgender Man Running for Assembly District 42
U.S. Army veteran La Don Henry is hoping to become Nevada’s first openly transgender state legislator.
Erik Weihenmayer is the First Blind Person to Summit Mount Everest
Erik Weihenmayer talks about how he first got into mountaineering in 1995 with the ascent of Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and what he loves about climbing.
New Theater Coming to Neonopolis
Ken Henderson explains his concept for Notoriety, a 57,000-square-foot theater complex on the third floor of Neonopolis intended to host comedy, music and theater acts.
Politicians, Tenants Come Together at Neonopolis
Neonopolis Owner Rohit Joshi explains the concept behind the Nevada Business Forum, which brings Neonopolis tenants and politicans together once a month to discuss issues that are important to them.
USPS is holding a class for mail carriers for dog bite prevention week
USPS is holding a class for mail carriers on preventing dog bites just in time for dog bite prevention week. Sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, is a public service campaign that offers safety tips and emphasizes the need for increased owner responsibility in the prevention of dog attacks. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Strip robbery spree ends in casino parking garage
A pair of robbery suspects led police to three parking garages around the Las Vegas Strip before they were caught early Tuesday morning. The first robbery took place at the Treasure Island parking garage, where two suspects "battered" a 71-year-old, her adult daughter and a juvenile girl. The suspects, one of who was armed, next demanded money and property from a pair of 18-year-olds at Fashion Show mall. The suspects were later spotted at the SLS Las Vegas parking garage. They tried to get away by ramming a patrol car with their vehicle. That effort failed and they were taken into custody.
Ackerman Center Fights Autism with Limited Resources
Across the Valley, parents face wait lists up to several months to obtain behavioral services for their autistic children. At the UNLV Ackerman Center, there are about 2,500 people waiting to get care. We'll talk to the Ackerman Center's director and child neuropsychologist.
Pedestrian injured and westbound Sahara closed
A pedestrian was hospitalized Monday morning after being hit by a pickup on East Sahara. Police said "a subject” was crossing the street and was struck by a vehicle traveling westbound on Sahara at Commercial Center. Westbound Sahara remained closed. Crime scene tape blocked off the area and a red pickup sat next to debris and a pair of shoes in front of a bus stop. Police did not have any information on the pedestrian's condition. Officers do not think the driver was impaired.
Local
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cabana Market Shooting -- Persons of Interest
On February 3, 2018 at approximately 1:57 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a parking lot located in the 3900 block of East Owens Avenue to investigate a report that a man had been shot. Responding officers located an unresponsive adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like