A gun control measure in Castle Rock was bound to roil the waters, and it did. Voters in the town of 50,000 are awaiting the results of a special election Tuesday that will determine the fate of “open carry” gun laws in public areas, an issue that has provoked heated debate.
In January, the town council voted 4-3 to repeal a ban on open carry of guns in town-owned buildings and parks. The old law, in effect since 2003, allowed the town manager to decide where open carry was allowed on town-owned property.
A local group that opposed the town council vote in January, Concerned Citizens of Castle Rock, played a part in pushing the city towards a special election, saying that the matter should be decided by the people and not the politically motivated council. The pro-gun Rocky Mountain Gun Owners embraced the easing of gun restrictions.
Two measures are on the special ballot. One asks whether or not the town manager should have the authority to ban open carry in public facilities while the other asks if future gun restrictions need voter approval before being enacted.
According to the Clerk’s office, 8,100 ballots came in as of 4 p.m. Tuesday and ballot judges are still counting the results. According to the city code, the clerk has seven days to validate voting results.