Castle Rock, Colorado sits on the urban corridor that stretches south between Denver to Colorado Springs. It’s primarily a bedroom community that has had explosive growth in the last 30 years, increasing in population form 3,921 in 1980 to 51,348 in 2012. In 2003 the home rule city’s town council gave the town manager, who is appointed by the council, the authority to ban the open carry of firearms on town property. In 2014, the council voted to remove that authority. The current Town Manager, Mark Stevens, had prohibited open carry on city property, resulting in a stand-off . . .
What resulted were two ballot initiatives; one to approve of the action of the town council, (put forward by those opposed to it – a “no” vote would reverse the decision), and another to remove the power to regulate firearms from the town council and to require a referendum on all future firearms issues.
Second Amendment advocates recommended a “Yes” vote on both issues.
The election process was hotly disputed, with at least two lawsuits and concerns over the counting of election results. Second amendment advocates claimed that many election safeguards were disregarded by officials who reported to the Town Manager. The election was held on 19 August and the results certified on the 29th of August. The election turnout was reported to be the highest in City history. This is due to a combination because of city growth, the new Colorado election laws that require a mailing of ballots to all voters, and because of the nature of the questions.
Here is the wording of the two ballot questions, from crgov.com:
A. REFERENDUM ON ORDINANCE NO. 2014-03 SHALL TOWN COUNCIL ORDINANCE 2014-03 BE APPROVED WHICH ORDINANCE REVOKES THE AUTHORITY OF- THE TOWN MANAGER UNDER THE MUNICIPAL CODE TO PROHIBIT THE OPEN CARRYING OF FIREARMS WITHIN MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS, PARKS, RECREATION AREAS AND OTHER MUNICIPAL PROPERTIES OWNED OR OPERATED BY THE TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK?
B. HOME RULE CHARTER AMENDMENT SHALL THE TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK HOME RULE CHARTER BE AMENDED BY ADDING A NEW SECTION 1-5 TO READ AS FOLLOWS?
Section 1-5. Constitutional Rights.
Any restriction or limitation on the rights of citizens to keep and bear firearms enacted by the Town Council shall require the approval of the registered electors as a referred measure under Section 15-4 of this Charter. This Section shall not apply to Town Council action which makes unlawful the discharge or brandishing of firearms. This Section shall govern and control over Articles II and VII or any other conflicting provision of this Charter, and shall apply only to Council action taken after its adoption.
YES ____ NO ___
Both results were in favor of Second Amendment advocates, both initiatives passed.
Measure A, which approved of the town council removing the authority of the town manager to restrict open carry, passed with 50.8% of the vote, 4,737 to 4,586.
Measure B, which required that all future decisions on gun restrictions be subject to referendum, passed overwhelmingly, 6,610 (71.2%) to 2,679 (28.8%).
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.