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Denver City Council to hear proposal on banning concealed carry in city parks, buildings

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Posted at 7:10 AM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 13:54:04-04

DENVER — A Denver City Council committee will discuss a proposal to prohibit concealed carry in city buildings and public parks during their Wednesday meeting.

The proposal would amend the Denver Revised Municipal Code to prohibit concealed carry within city parks and buildings owned by, leased by or leased to the city.

On the first offense, anyone in violation would receive a fine of no more than $50, but on the second offense, that penalty goes up to as high as $999 and/or up to 300 days in jail.

Exemptions would include: law enforcement, military personnel, licensed security guards and individuals carrying for a legitimate sporting activity, who have valid authorization while at specific shooting ranges and those lawfully traveling with a firearm.

Council initially took up the proposal at the April 13 council meeting but tabled the discussion until Wednesday due to several questions raised during that discussion.

During the April 14 meeting, Councilmember Kevin Flynn wanted to know what kind of crime the proposal was trying to prevent and if there had been any criminal incidents with concealed carry permit holders in city parks that would prompt the need for legislation. He also wanted to know why there was only outreach to anti-gun violence groups and not any outreach to concealed carry groups.

There was also discussion on keeping guns in a concealed carry permit holder’s vehicle and if that posed greater issues. Councilmember Candi CdeBaca wanted to see more data on crimes committed with guns stolen out of cars.

CdeBaca also brought up concerns about the constitutionality of the proposal and if it would lead to unlawful searches of people. She also wanted more data on the demographics of concealed carry gun owners to determine if people of color who had obtained permits might be targeted as a result of the proposal.

During the Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the committee approved the measure. It will now move to the full council for consideration.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said its members are lobbying against the measure.

“As of today, the Denver Police Department claims their response time is right around 10 minutes. Because the police department likely won’t be there to stop an active crime, they will do nothing more than investigate the crime after it has taken place. Self-defense is your right, not a privilege, and this proposed policy will leave citizens defenseless against criminals and Denver’s rapidly rising crime rates. Law-abiding gun owners should never be forced to disarm, especially in places directly paid for with our taxpayer dollars," the group said in a statement. "These new gun bans will do nothing but leave citizens defenseless, and when seconds count, law enforcement will be minutes away.”