In case you missed the news last week about Denver’s unprecedented move to ban concealed carry in city parks and buildings owned by, leased by, or leased to the City of Denver, it was probably because the mainstream media completely ignored it. But we’re all over it.
The first hearing took place on Wednesday, April 13 in the Denver Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee. At the end of the meeting it was decided to postpone “action” until the many questions and concerns brought up during the meeting could be addressed. They will bring it back to this committee on April 27th. CLICK HERE to email the entire committee at once.
The hearing was a mess. Assistant City Attorney Reggie Nubine led the presentation, which you can watch HERE. After his presentation, the public was invited to speak on the proposal. Of the 12 who had signed up, 2 were ultimately unavailable when it came time to speak, 7 spoke against the proposal, and 3 spoke in favor. This was followed by an extensive amount of discussion among the council and committee members. Question after question came up that no one from the City Attorney’s office was able to answer, something that anyone should find incredibly alarming while trying to push rights-crushing laws for their citizens.
I’ll break down some of the more glaring questions here:
Why are they doing this?
It’s part of the “Mayor’s Vision” as laid out in the 2022 Public Safety Action Plan (page 5, City Attorney’s Office, item 2).
It was pointed out that in the Mayor’s actual Safety Plan document it says “Developing and implementing a Conceal Carry Ban in city-owned facilities” and nowhere does it mention “leased to or leased by” buildings, or parks. When asked about the expansion to include this additional criteria, a representative for the city attorney’s office stumbled with an answer only to eventually say they were sure it was part of a “future plan”.
How will this law be enforced? Will they implement stop and frisk policies?
They will be relying on a “see something, say something” policy as enforcement. For example if someone inside a library were to think they may have seen a concealed firearm when another patron bends over, the person who saw it is supposed to report it to the library staff who will then report it to local law enforcement to handle. Because we all know cops have nothing better to do with their time in Denver.
No answer about stop and frisk policies.
If this is a “see something, say something” enforcement policy that relies on citizens policing citizens then engaging law enforcement, does it open the door to racial profiling? Could a person simply call the police on a black person in a park and say they saw a hidden gun and have that person be targeted by law enforcement?
No answer, of course.
What would be the step by step law enforcement protocol to handling these reports?
No one had any idea.
What are the demographic trends of concealed carry permit holders over the past 5 years?
No one has looked into this.
What other constitutional rights are fully banned on public property in Denver?
None that anyone is aware of.
Are parking lots included and with the requirement to now leave firearms in cars instead of carrying on body, are they creating a bigger problem that could lead to even more increased firearm theft, as there is hard data behind the use of stolen firearms in crime?
No parking lots are not included in the ban. Crickets on the rest.
What about parks outside of Denver owned by the city of Denver? Several were mentioned including parks in Cherry Creek, Douglas County, and Winter Park. Had the city attorney’s office corresponded with law enforcement in these areas to see if they are willing to enforce such a ban?
Yes, it does include parks outside of Denver if they are owned by the city of Denver – and turns out there are a lot. Park rangers are in charge of these parks but they would not be in charge of enforcement, instead they would be expected to report anyone they may suspect of concealed carrying a firearm to local law enforcement who would be responsible for enforcement. Yet no one actually asked those local law enforcement agencies how they felt about this.
Why are the only stakeholders anti-gun groups and have they reached out to groups representing those with concealed carry permits?
During the presentation, a slide showing stakeholders as Everytown for Gun Safety, Ceasefire, and Moms Demand Action was presented. Glaringly absent from stakeholders was anyone who actually works with those who own firearms and exercise their right to self defense. When asked if they’d reached to other groups, their answer was no, and again, a whole lot of stumbling around an answer took place.
What is the process when obtaining a concealed carry permit in Denver? Do they inform the recipient of local laws?
Fingerprinting, background check, completed training – and no, they don’t inform permit recipients of the laws, they are expected to know them.
How much would signage cost?
No one knows but they anticipate doing it in a phased plan that would update signage language as signs need replaced.
So, what’s next? The same committee will reconvene to discuss again on April 27, 2022 at which time hopefully the questions above will be answered. It’s unknown at this time if they will be accepting public comment again but regardless citizens can and should attend in person if possible.
During the meeting, one councilwoman gave a tone deaf speech about how even though they know they can’t enforce laws like this, it sends a “message” to the community that guns aren’t welcome here. Well, legal guns anyway. I can’t help but point out how everything she said goes against #2 in their larger vision because as is obvious from all of the questions above, there are some glaring issues with this increasing negative law enforcement contact with the public.
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