CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4)– It was an emotional and often times heated debate at the town hall meeting in Castle Rock over the open carry proposal.
The council is considering getting rid of an ordinance that keeps people from openly carrying a firearm in some parts of town.
“Open carriers are not criminals,” said one supporter of the proposal to lift the ban.
“I don’t need to see guns in my everyday… going to the store,” said an opponent of lifting the ban.
The city ordinance has been in place for more than a decade. It doesn’t allow people to openly carry a firearm in town-owned facilities and parks.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first formal consideration of a new ordinance to completely remove the current limits.
Castle Rock Police Chief Jack Cauley testified against lifting the open carry ban.
“The right to keep and bear arms is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever,” said open carry opponent Carroll Hood.
“Treat criminals like criminals, treat citizens like good people, which we are,” said Jeff Meek, a Castle Rock resident who supports open carry. “Do not amend the liberty, restore it and vote to repeal.”
There were more than 60 people signed up to speak at the meeting. There were still people speaking at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The council said it will stay late into the night to hear everyone’s comments and still planned to vote on the proposal.
Mayor Paul Donahue says the council has been considering changing the ordinance for several months. The council said it will likely come down to what residents want.
Planning Committee member Barbara Dash was willing to sacrifice her job to disagree.
“If you, Town Council, repeal the existing ban, I as a volunteer serving on the planning commission will resign,” said Dash.
“The more guns in law-abiding citizens’ hands in society, the more civil society is,” said one resident who supports open carry.