Special election could determine future of open carry in Castle Rock

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Castle Rock voters will decide this week whether the town manager can allow residents to openly carry firearms in public spaces.

In January, the town council voted 4-3 voted to allow open carry in town buildings and parks, but not courts or schools. The move was allowed because the Town Code gives the town manager authority over open carry in those venues.

But earlier this year, residents opposed to open carry forced a special election seeking to strip that power from the town manager. If the measure passes, open carry will likely be subject to more restrictions.

The mail-in ballots are due on Tuesday.

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

The Castle Rock Public Safety Commission voted in 2013 to recommend against repealing the ban; and about 95 percent of town employees surveyed said they didn’t want it repealed.