By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4) – At a meeting on Monday, Denver’s City Council approved reinstating a prohibition on allowing people with concealed carry firearms permits to carry in city facilities and buildings. The vote was an overwhelming 9-3.

“I think we’ve got way more guns on the street than we need. I think it’s a reasonable restriction,” said District 6 councilman Paul Kashmann. “I don’t know that I’m crazy about the idea of people that may or may not be adequately trained in the use of weapons acting as our constitution indicates as a well-regulated militia.“

Among the objections, councilman Kevin Flynn said, “It doesn’t appear that this solves any problem that we’re having with firearms in this city… There are probably people with concealed permits, legally with a permit, who are carrying in parks every day and I have yet to see a problem with it.”

(credit: CBS)

Among those speaking at the council meeting was concealed carry permit holder Allyson Thorn.

“The statistics on Denver have gotten much worse,” she said about the city’s crime rate. Thorn sometimes walks along the Platte River near Commons Park.

“Sometimes I feel kind of ‘is this really safe walking here?’ And so I wonder how I might be able to protect myself in that case.”

She said she was disappointed at the council’s vote.

“I feel it’s important that people have the ability to do that,” she said, pointing out that people have to go through a process to be approved for concealed carry permits.

“If you do it all by the book and do it right, you shouldn’t, nobody should be able to tell you yes or no,” said park visitor Byron Fortt, who said had previously thought about getting a permit. “I don’t carry myself, but I just never go to that point.”

Denver resident John Estes, also walking in the park, did not feel more secure with the possibility of people armed nearby.

“I think they should not be allowed… There are clearly too many weapons on the street.”

“Not in our libraries, recreation centers, not at Red Rocks, not in our parks,” said Eileen McCarron, President of the gun law advocate organization, Colorado Ceasefire as she addressed the council. “Researchers contend that concealed carry laws are actually related an increase in violent crime, especially aggravated assaults… Denver can address the entire normalization of guns everywhere by declaring not in our buildings and not on our properties.”

Thorn wondered, what now after the vote.

“How would you enforce that in this park?”

Among objections, councilwoman Candi CdeBaca claimed “This policy singlehanded justifies an excessive use of force in any case where there’s an allegation that someone has a gun on them.”

The mayor, who advocated for the ordinance, is expected to sign.

Alan Gionet