The Colorado town of Castle Rock repealed a 2003 law banning the open carry of firearms in public buildings and parks after a four-hour meeting and a narrow 4-3 vote.
The repeal was requested by Second Amendment advocates who called the vote a victory for constitutional rights.
“I think it shows the residents of Castle Rock that their town council will stand up for their constitutional freedoms when possible,” Castle Rock Mayor Paul Donahue is quoted as saying in the Denver Post.
It’s legal in Colorado to openly carry firearms in public, but the law allows local municipalities to adopt rules to prevent them from being carried in parks and public buildings.
And according to an anonymous survey of Caste Rock public employees conducted by the town manager, 77 percent of the 160 who responded preferred that it stay that way.
Planning Committee member Barbara Dash, who spoke at the meeting, threatened to resign if the ban was repealed and others who spoke in opposition wondered why it was necessary to allow gun owners to visually display their weapons everywhere.
“The right to keep and bear arms is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever,” Denver’s CBS4 quotes Carroll Hood as saying.
But Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a Second Amendment advocacy group that pushed for the repeal, said the vote is a step toward protecting constitutional rights.
“Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is against any measure that restricts law-abiding gun owners of their constitutional right,” spokeswoman Danielle Thompson told the Post. “Citizens should be allowed to carry the tools of self-defense.”
The paper reports that 24 people spoke in favor of repealing the ban at Tuesday’s meeting and 28 were opposed.
To go into effect, the repeal must be voted on again next Tuesday; if it passes a second time, it will become effective 30 days later.
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