Castle Rock

Referendum started after Castle Rock open-carry vote

By Virginia Grantier
Posted

On Jan. 28 at about 11 p.m., Castle Rock Town Council voted 4-3 to repeal the ban on open carrying of firearms in some town buildings and facilities.

And on Jan. 29 at about 9:30 a.m., a committee of six residents, upset with the council's decision, started a referendum effort by submitting a petition to the town clerk.

Siegfried "Ziggy" Guentensberger, a volunteer baseball coach with the Castle Rock Parks and Recreation District, said he was told they will need about 1,800 signatures, submitted by Feb. 26, to do that. If successful, a special election would be scheduled.

If the town council's decision stands, on Feb. 27 — 30 days after that decision was made —  anyone who has a handgun or assault rifle or any other legally purchased firearm will be allowed to carry it in their hands or holstered to Castle Rock Town Council meetings, and other town commission and advisory board meetings, administrative offices, various parks and other town-owned properties.

Guentensberger said his biggest concern about the repeal boils down to one thing: "Do we want our city council to approve individuals to carry long (guns), whether shotguns or AR-15s, into our public parks or town buildings?"

He said he thinks it should be the decision of town residents, not four council members.

Guentensberger said planning a referendum actually started after the council's first public hearing on Jan. 21, when it became "very apparent" that the majority of council, four members, were not going to be swayed by public comments.

He said 78 percent of Castle Rock residents' emails on record at town hall about the issue indicate opposition to the repeal.

The town clerk needs to approve the referendum petition in consultation with the town attorney. Then the group can work on getting signatures, he said.

Jacob Vargish, a Castle Rock resident and engineering consultant, is also helping with the referendum issue.

"I don't think council has done a good job of taking into account the (public's) concerns," he said.

He said if the council had limited allowing open carry for, say, only handguns in holsters, that could have made a difference.

But, "they didn't even come to that compromise," he said.

He said he doesn't think the places being talked about are appropriate for rifles and shotguns, long guns.

"It's pretty obvious to me that this is common sense (that we) don't want to carry firearms into these places," he said.

If the referendum goes forward, voters would be asked if they want the approved ordinance that repealed the ban to be maintained or removed.

Vargish said if he thought the majority of residents wanted this, he wouldn't be involved in this effort, he said.

"But I don't think the citizens want this," he said.

For more information about the referendum and the group, go to http://norepealcastlerock.com/.

4 comments on this story | Add your comment
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AnthonyGarcia

I've lived in Castle Rock for over 15 years, I've raised a family here and I have guns and I sometimes carry guns! Oh the horror! As a gun owner for over 45 years I can't for the life of me wrap my mind around the idiotic fears people have about law abiding people exercising their 2nd amendment right! The other thing that I can't understand is why someone would like to create a gun free zone so that normal law abiding people would become law breakers if they chose to ignore a law that is ridiculously flawed! While I understand there are bad people in this world, bad people will continue their killing with or without a gun, here's one example in recent town history, the Castle Rock woman that killed her kids a few years ago didn't use a gun, people use baseball bats, cars, gasoline bombs, knives.....the criminal will find a way! The misguided people that would/could create more victims by making it harder for people to defend themselves!

Saturday, February 1 | Report this
AnthonyGarcia

Sorry I hit the wrong button.....

I've lived in Castle Rock for over 15 years, I've raised a family here and I have guns and I sometimes carry guns! Oh the horror! As a gun owner for over 45 years I can't for the life of me wrap my mind around the idiotic fears people have about law abiding people exercising their 2nd amendment right! The other thing that I can't understand is why someone would like to create a gun free zone so that normal law abiding people would become law breakers if they chose to ignore a law that is ridiculously flawed! While I understand there are bad people in this world, bad people will continue their killing with or without a gun, here's one example in recent town history, the Castle Rock woman that killed her kids a few years ago didn't use a gun, people use baseball bats, cars, gasoline bombs, knives.....the criminal will find a way! The misguided people that would/could create more victims by making it harder for people to defend themselves need to be put in check!

As for all the city council members threatening to resign, I say let them! This country was founded on individual liberties that a few misguided people in elected office shouldn't threaten to take away from God fearing, law abiding citizens! I would gladly step into one of the vacancies left by these fear mongers that are so intimidated by our God given rights! I'm a retired grandfather of 7 and dad to 5 wonderful kids, I'd like for them to be able to have the freedoms I have enjoyed and be able to pass the freedoms to their kids and grand kids as well! The America our parents knew growing up is gone, most of the America I knew growing up is gone, let's stop the insanity now so that our freedoms don't go away!

Saturday, February 1 | Report this
adwiskus

Mr. Garcia, I couldn't agree more or have said it better. THANK YOU!! Especially your point that ALL of these gun laws only limit the law abiding people (like you and I) from enjoying our 2nd amendment right and do nothing to stop the criminals.

Wednesday, February 5 | Report this
Constable

Nicely Said Anthony, I've been a law abiding citizen of Colorado for forty-one years, I have been a competition target shooter, recreational target shooter and have trained many people gun safety for about twenty five years. I typically carry concealed but will time to time open carry, mostly going to and from the ranges. On many occasions I have had people come over and ask if I was law enforcement, I just say no civilian, to that they say "well I just want you to know that I feel safer knowing someone here can protect us if needed". I'm usually waiting for a negative comment, but thus far that has not happened. I just can't figure out where all of the seventy five percent against open carry people are. Weather we carry concealed or open, this is a deterrent for the average criminals to commit a crime, most criminals are looking for an easy target, people who cannot protect them selves or others. When they see a person open carrying, they will look for a different location (Safe Zone)to avoid any conflict that may come about. Those who choose not to carry should thank those who do, your the one that benefits, because the criminal doesn't know. Everyone has different interest and different opinions, that's what makes America so wonderful, but your belief or opinion should not effect my rights or beliefs to live my life as I see fit. Our political correctness need to end, criminals are just that, only a fool thinks laws will change a criminal mind.

Thursday, February 6 | Report this