Apr 12, 2022 - News

Denver considers concealed-carry ban in parks and public spaces

GIF of bullets on a shooting range paper with the picture of a gun
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A crackdown on concealed guns in public parks and buildings may be imminent if Mayor Michael Hancock's administration has its way.

Driving the news: The city attorney's office will propose a measure this week that would restrict concealed carry in any building or portion of a building that is owned, leased by or leased to the city.

  • The ordinance, which could take effect as early as next month, would also ban carrying guns in Denver's urban and mountain parks.

What they're saying: "The intent of the ordinance is to address gun-related crime and violence that could occur in a city property within Denver," city attorney spokesperson Jacqlin Davis tells Axios Denver.

  • "Mountain Parks are only included because they're Parks & Recreation facilities," she added.

Context: Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill in 2021 following the Boulder King Soopers shooting granting cities across the state jurisdiction to set their own gun-related restrictions.

  • That state law allows Denver to reinstate its concealed-carry ban in city facilities and broaden it by repealing the requirement of metal detectors to enforce the prohibition.

Of note: Denver's proposed ordinance includes a few exemptions, including: for law enforcement and military personnel; people carrying firearms for a "legitimate" sporting activity such as skeet shooting; and those traveling with a legal firearm in their private vehicle.

  • A first offense would result in up to a $50 penalty. Subsequent offenders face fines up to $999 and up to 300 days in jail.

What's next: A Denver City Council committee will hear the proposal on Wednesday.

  • The council's final vote is expected in early May, and the restrictions would be effective immediately if signed by the mayor.
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