A concealed-carry crackdown looms in Denver
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's plan to ban concealed guns in city parks and buildings in the name of public safety is moving forward, despite a lack of data linking crime to the permits.
State of play: Denver's police department doesn't track how many gun-related crimes are connected to concealed-carry permit holders — so there's no way to know if the linkage exists in the city.
But that's beside the point, assistant city attorney Reggie Newbine said.
- The goal of the crackdown, he told council members Wednesday, is to further "mitigate risk" of violent crime, which continues to soar in Denver and across the country.
- Expanding the boundaries of the city's concealed-carry ban outside of where it already exists, including courtrooms, post offices, the City and County Building and schools, will help do just that, Newbine said.
The big picture: Nationwide, there remains "limited" evidence showing that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime, according to a comprehensive report from the nonpartisan think tank Rand Corp. that examined thousands of gun policy studies published since 1995.
- However, research shows that tighter restrictions result in lower percentages of handgun owners carrying their firearm regularly.
Driving the news: A Denver City Council committee on Wednesday advanced the proposal to the full council after pumping the brakes on the plan earlier this month for further discussion.
- Some council members, including Jamie Torres and Kevin Flynn, remain on the fence.
What they're saying: "I'm just having trouble understanding why we are keeping the whole class in recess because of the misbehavior of some who don't have a permit," Flynn told officials in the city attorney's office.
- "I still don't see data … that would tell us whether this is actually a problem that will be solved by this particular bill," he added.
What's next: The ordinance will be introduced on the floor of the full council early next month.
- Restrictions would be effective immediately upon the mayor's signature.
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