Castle Rock considers repeal of open-carry ban in public buildings

Gun in holster

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Officials are expecting a large crowd at Tuesday night’s city council meeting here as they consider a proposal to repeal an ordinance outlawing the open-carrying of firearms in public buildings and parks.

As the public debate over gun laws expands from the state Capitol to municipal meeting rooms, emotions continue to be charged on any question of public policy related to guns and the Second Amendment.

In this small town in one of the state’s most conservative counties, public officials are split.

While Mayor Paul Donahue, who is managing partner of the Centennial Gun Club, has said he supports repealing the ban on open-carry; but many county planning commissioners are threatening to resign “because of the increased possibility for intimidation and/or violence”, they stated in a letter from the Castle Rock Planning Commission last week.

The Castle Rock Public Safety Commission voted in September to recommend against repealing the ban; and about 95 percent of town employees surveyed said they didn’t want it repealed.

In December, the council moved to develop an ordinance allowing open-carry, which is allowed by state law, but local governments can ban the option in facilities or spaces owned by the town.

The meeting started at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at the Castle Rock Town Hall, located at 100 N. Wilcox Street. The debate continued late into the night.

If the council approves the ordinance Tuesday night, it would face a second hearing for final approval at a future meeting.