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Voters To Decide Open-Carry Law In Colorado Town

Greg Campbell
Contributor

Residents of the small town of Castle Rock, Colo., are deciding Tuesday whether to allow the open carry of firearms in public buildings like libraries and in public parks, despite a last minute attempt to halt the special election.

A self-styled election watcher in Denver sued to halt the vote, claiming it violated voters’ privacy by not including secrecy sleeves with mail ballots. The ballots arrived in the mail folded with the choices facing outward, the Denver Post reported, and the lawsuit filed by Marilyn Marks claimed that voters would tend to re-fold them the same way, exposing their choices to whomever opened the envelopes.

A judge on Monday dismissed the suit, however, ruling that Marks has no standing to sue since she lives in Denver and can’t vote in the election.

“If there is in fact a harm, it is a harm she cannot experience because she is not a resident of Castle Rock,” said Douglas County District Judge Paul King, according to the Post.

The special election was spurred when the town overturned a decade-old policy of restricting openly-carried weapons from public buildings and parks in January, a move spearheaded by Second Amendment advocates who point out that it’s legal to openly carry a firearm anywhere in Colorado. The state constitution, however, allows local governments to restrict them in certain locations. (RELATED: Colorado Town Repeals Ban On Openly Carrying Guns In Public Buildings And Parks)

The town was sharply divided over the repeal and citizens who want to reinstate the ban gathered enough signatures to put it to a vote.

Voters are being asked to decide whether to strip the town manager of the ability to set open-carry policy, the Post reported, and whether gun matters should be decided by city council in the future.

Although there is no local requirement for mail ballots to include secrecy sleeves, the town briefly halted balloting last week to include the sleeves with the remainder of the ballots.

Marks’ suit claimed that 3,250 ballots were mishandled before the sleeves were included, according to the Post.

But the town spokeswoman told the paper that the process was “safe and secure” throughout the voting period.

“We’re confident in our election process,” she said.

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