May 24, 2022

Audio Report: Why Seattle Public Library Surrendered Its Gun Ban

From a KUOW Radio Report:

When Seattle Public Library lifted its ban on guns in early November, officials there said they had done so because patrons had complained.

Internal library emails reveal that there was just one patron complaint in several years – a man with a Yahoo email account who didn’t identify himself as either a patron or Seattle resident.

That man, Dave Bowman, lives in Seattle and has a library card (which he uses, he noted in an email to KUOW), and said that he demanded the policy change on behalf of all gun owners. He described himself as “neither a conservative, nor liberal, but a libertarian.”


The library emails, obtained by KUOW through a public records request, show the library dropped its gun ban without a fight.

“They asked us to brief them on the law, ‘What is the likelihood that our ban will survive?’” City Attorney Pete Holmes said. “We had to tell them there was a significant risk.”

Read the Complete Report/Listen to the 4:11 Audio Report

See Also: Seattle Public Library Now Allows Patrons to Carry Guns Inside Library Facilities (November 4, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.