Guns: Ban Open Carry in Colorado Urban Areas
My family, my friends, and all visitors to our beautiful state want to relax and enjoy being in Colorado. Prohibiting open carry on our streets would really help us do just that.
Why ask now? Recent events in Colorado Springs led to a delayed response from law enforcement because open carry laws do not prohibit individuals from walking down the street carrying a weapon (except in Denver.)
10 minutes lapsed between the first 911 call alerting authorities about a man walking down the street with a "big black rifle," and the second 911 call when shots were actually fired and killed a passing bicyclist. Within 4 minutes, 2 women were randomly killed before the Colorado Springs PD arrived to have a shootout with the "law-abiding citizen" who decided to break the law and kill 3 people. The 911 dispatcher originally did not treat the situation as urgent because, as she explained to the caller, Colorado "is an open carry state, so he can have a weapon with him or walking around with it."
This is just not acceptable. Citizens' rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are infringed upon when they are shot or terrified at the sight of someone walking down the street with a weapon. Shouldn't our right to feel safe in our communities trump another citizen's right to terrorize or even murder innocents without an immediate police response? "Open carry" advocates simply should not have the right to intimidate others around them and threaten public safety.
A more urgent and rapid police response could have saved the lives of all three individuals. Afterward, the police department released protocols to verify that the dispatcher was indeed following protocol and defended her failure to categorize the situation as urgent.
Colorado legislators and the governor can and should prohibit openly carried firearms so that we can truly preserve the public peace, health, and safety of Coloradans and visitors to our wonderful state.
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