Northglenn passes city building firearm restrictions

Luke Zarzecki
lzarzecki@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/19/22

Northglenn city council unanimously passed an ordinance on Sept.12 that bans firearms in City Hall and open carry of firearms in city-owned buildings.

Prior to the approval, the city already had …

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Northglenn passes city building firearm restrictions

Posted

Northglenn city council unanimously passed an ordinance on Sept.12 that bans firearms in City Hall and open carry of firearms in city-owned buildings.

Prior to the approval, the city already had regulations in place. Concealed carry is prohibited in places prohibited by federal law, schools and public buildings with security personnel screening for them. 

The new ordinance comes with exemptions. It won’t apply to law enforcement, members of the United States Armed Forces or Colorado National Guard when engaged in official duties or private security guards contracted by the City. 

The move comes after Deputy Police Chief Randall Darlin presented historical legislative and court rulings across the country that give municipalities in Colorado the power to regulate guns. But there are nuances as well, Darlin said at the Aug. 8 study session.

Darlin said the state’s legislature passed a law in 2021 giving local governments the ability to regulate firearms.

“Local governments can prohibit the sale, purchase, transfer, or possession of a firearm, ammunition, or firearm component under that statute,” he said at the Aug. 8 meeting. 

He explained that C.R.S. § 18-12-203 gives an individual the ability to obtain a permit from their local sheriff’s office to carry a concealed weapon.

They must meet certain requirements, however.  Those include being a legal resident of Colorado and at least 21 years of age. They also must not have their ability to carry a firearm restricted under other Colorado or Federal laws, must not use alcoholic beverages chronically or habitually to the point of impairment, as legally defined, or be a legally defined user or addicted to controlled substances. They also cannot be subject to a protection order and must have demonstrated competence with a handgun.

Supreme concerns

However, concerns came from a United States Supreme Court ruling in June 2022 that restricted the ability of cities to regulate carrying firearms in public. According to the Sept. 12 agenda, the ordinance is “...thought to be consistent with the Bruen ruling and provides limited restrictions on the carrying of firearms within the City.” 

At the Aug. 9 study session, City Attorney Corey Hoffman noted that the decision contains a memorandum that addresses historical laws in sensitive places in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as legislative assemblies, polling places and courthouses

Most of those historical references are from the East Coast but Hoffman said he’s “pretty comfortable” if the city council voted to prohibit firearms in municipal buildings since they are akin to legislative assemblies.

The question, though, was what to do in Northlgenn's parks. With the current ordinance, Northglenn did not aim to tackle the question of parks. He noted many other municipalities across the Front Range are wrestling with the issue.

“Municipal attorneys in our area are still trying to figure out whether that is something we can do or collectively want to take a chance on, to regulate firearms in public parks,” Hoffmann said at the Aug. 8 meeting. 

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