By Steve Baska
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners recently replaced two resolutions that banned open carry of guns in its county facilities, parks, trails, and open spaces with a new resolution that allows open carry of guns in those places – with the exception being the Robert A. Christensen Justice Center where the courts are located in Castle Rock.
Last fall, a citizen brought it to the attention of the county that, while it had the two old resolutions, there were no signs posted around the county as required to legally enact or enforce those resolutions.
As a result, said county spokesperson Wendy Holmes, “A very different Board of Commissioners from the previous one said the ban on open carry is inconsistent with our practice [which had been to allow open carry].” The board then drafted a new resolution allowing open carry, publicly put the proposed resolution on its business meeting agenda, and adopted it on December 17. No citizens spoke against adopting the new policy, she said.
“This board believes strongly in the right of individual carry [of weapons],” Holmes said. There has never been a problem with citizens carrying weapons in the county’s areas, so the previous ban was never enforced, she said.
The new resolution states that the discharge of firearms in county areas remains prohibited, unless expressly permitted by law such as for self-defense. Open carry is not allowed wherever a sign is permanently placed, such as at the justice center, or temporarily placed, “as may be needed from time to time at the discretion of the county manager.” The resolution also defines firearms as including bb guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, and air guns.
Holmes stated that the main issue for the county was that it has not faced a need to ban open carry. “Should circumstances warrant it, the county manager can change the open carry policy,” she stated.
Holmes said open carry policy varies among other counties in Colorado. The Castle Rock Town Council in January gained much attention when it voted to allow open carry in its city-owned buildings and parks. The previous law allowed the town manager to decide where open carry was allowed on city property. As for the City of Castle Pines and the remainder of 80108, Douglas County laws apply.
To read the new Douglas County resolution, visit
www.douglas.co.us/dcoutdoors/rules-regulations-parks-trails-and-open-space/ and see the open carry language under section under F(i).