Jun 16, 2022 - News

Denver's crackdown on concealed carry results in battle over park

Illustration of an arm in a business suit making a gun sign with smoke coming out of the fingertips.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Denver's new ban on concealed weapons in public buildings and parks has drawn an unexpected political retaliation.

What's happening: In response to the concealed-carry crackdown, Republican commissioners in neighboring Douglas County are weighing whether to seize a 1,000-acre mountain park owned by the city of Denver.

  • Daniels Park — located in Douglas County, between Castle Pines and Highlands Ranch — has been under Denver's jurisdiction for nearly a century.
  • It's a prized piece of land listed on the National Register of Historic Places, home to a herd of bison and several historic ranch buildings.

What they're saying: Douglas County commissioner George Teal called for an executive session this week over the ownership change and told his colleagues privately that Denver's decision to "impinge on our Constitutional Rights" was driving his considerations, per 9News.

  • Commissioner Abe Laydon agreed a change of hands would be a "win-win for both Denver and Douglas," while commissioner Lora Thomas said the move was only "infusing politics into yet another decision," the Douglas County News-Press reports.

The other side: Denver officials say the deal won't fly, and would cost Douglas County half a billion dollars for the land alone.

  • Compounding that cost would be the inevitable legal fees the county would face in any attempt to take over the park via eminent domain.

The bottom line: City leaders "would never move forward with an agreement to give away one of our treasured parks," Denver parks director Scott Gilmore told the Douglas County News-Press.


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