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Denver Prohibits Open Carry of Firearms; a clash of cultures in Colorado?

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Colorado has long been considered a permissive state with respect to firearms. The state still is–except apparently for Denver. Denver recently challenged the state’s preemption law and won, allowing the city to prohibit the open carry of firearms and the unlicensed open car carry of firearms. Similarly, Castle Rock, a county seat in the Denver Metro Area, blocked the repeal of an open carry prohibition, continuing the area’s ban on the open carry of firearms. What is going on?

Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney notes that the clash of gun cultures which is playing out between Denver and the rest of the state is a microcosm of the clash between Second Amendment supporters and gun control advocates in the country as a whole. Remember the open letter written by Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks? In September of 2013, he announced that although the famous coffee shops will not prohibit patrons from bringing firearms into stores, they strongly prefer that people coming to enjoy their coffee, food and atmosphere leave their weapons behind. Previously hailed as a firearm-friendly business place, firearm supporters were stunned by what they saw as a reversal of policy and attitude and promised to boycott.

Even a law that would seem to lack any controversy, like the Gun-Free School Zones Act which prohibited the carrying of firearms within 1,000 feet of a school, nonetheless was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995. Congress re-enacted a similar law in 1996 that is still good law. However, your Denver Personal injury Attorney points out that Colorado University’s ban of guns on its campus was struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court earlier this month. The court held that the school’s ban violated the law; therefore, Colorado University is set to become like the rest of the state and allow the concealed carry of firearms on its campus. Ten other states are currently considering the issue of allowing guns on college campuses, a highly charged debate in the wake of the shooting at Virginia Tech.

Moms Demand Action, a gun-control lobbying group headed by Shannon Watts and funded by Michael Bloomberg, supports any and all efforts to prohibit the open carry of firearms. Although there is no statistical evidence linking open carry areas with school shootings, Watts often cites all the school shootings–in Colorado and elsewhere–as proof that states and cities need more gun control laws. Moms Demand Action was formed after the Sandy Hook School shooting. 

For now, Denver area residents seem to be trending toward what may be a tourist and business-friendly atmosphere. The rest of Colorado appears to prefer to retain strong allegiance to Second Amendment rights. While the cultural clash is being respected, it is too early to tell if this honeymoon phase will last. Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney at Levine Law knows that any sort of injury or accident involving a firearm can be extremely sensitive. To seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact Jordan Levine for a free consultation regarding your options for recovery.