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Thread: Denver Mountain Parks

  1. #1
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    I was OC'ing near Mt. Evans today at Echo Lake Park. Apparently Denver owns this and several others :How do the firearms laws apply in these places? At Echo Lake they have a confusing set of signs: one says "no discharging of firearms" (ok), another says "firearms prohibited" (not ok). I could have parked by the road and not seen any of the signs before I went in. In this case, I left my Baretta in the glovebox but kept my holster on and enjoyed the lake with my dog.

    Anyone know if I can CC in these parks legally? I assume with the signs up I couldn't.

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    Whew thats a tough one. Generally, preemption would rule thereby allowing valid permit holders could CC. If these are National Parks, then CC/OC is a no-no. I honestly don't know the rules with National Registered Historic Places.
    IANAL, but I would think that since they are NOT in Denver County, CC (with CCW) would be legal via preemption. Since there is signage, OC would probably not be a good idea, at least until further researched.

    Great topic/question by the way, good job and welcome to the forums!

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    I found the rules & regs for Denver Parks here: http://www.denvergov.org/Portals/476...rules_Regs.DOC . It says they apply to mountain parks also. The regs say:

    30. FIREARMS: Unlawful to possess, display, flourish, or discharge within the parks, parkways, mountain parks, park waterways, park trails and all other park or recreational facilities of the City and County of Denver. (Section 39‑20 (a) (1) (2) (3) (4) (8) and Section 39‑20 (b) RMC)


    The Denver Municipal Code also states that:


    Sec. 39-9. Firearms and weapons prohibited.
    (a)It shall be unlawful for any person, other than authorized personnel, to possess, display, flourish, or discharge any firearm within any park, parkway, mountain park or other recreational facility. (b)It shall be unlawful for any person, other than authorized personnel, to possess, display, or flourish any weapon within any park, parkway, mountain park or other recreational facility. A "weapon" shall be defined as any item listed in section 38-117(a) of the Revised Municipal Code. (c)It shall not be an offense under subsection (a) of this section to possess a firearm within any park, parkway, mountain park, or other recreational facility if: (1)The weapon involved was a handgun and the person holds a valid permit or a temporary emergency permit to carry a concealed handgun issued pursuant to state law and is otherwise carrying the handgun in conformance with any applicable state or local law; or (2)The person is carrying the weapon within a private automobile or other private means of conveyance for hunting or for lawful protection of such person's or another person's person or property, and the person is otherwise lawfully in possession of the weapon. If the weapon is a firearm being transported for hunting, it shall be unloaded while being carried within the private automobile or other private means of conveyance.
    http://www.municode.com/resources/ga...0257&sid=6

    And finally the Meyers decision on the matter:

    "On this issue, the City's argument is supported by state law. C.R.S. §31-25-201 (2003) grants the City authority to establish, maintain and acquire lands for parkways, parks or recreational purposes. More specifically, in C.R.S. §31-25-216 (2003), a city and county is granted full police power and jurisdiction over extraterritorial parklands, of which Denver has a substantial collection. The State has not sought to regulate the City's policing of its own parks until the enactment of Senate Bill 25. Denver's park system is unique to it, especially with regard to its extensive system of mountain parks and parkways. Any need for uniformity is vastly outweighed by Denver's judgment that its citizens are safer without guns in the parks. There is no extraterritorial impact to this ordinance. Commuter routes typically do not traverse parklands, and it is riot an unreasonable burden for visitors to Denver to inform themselves as to restrictions on guns in parks. The State has not shown any substantial interest in requiring a municipality to open its parks to all guns, as described above, the bare interest in uniformity is unconvincing. Therefore, based on the totality of the circumstances, I conclude that the issue of open carry of firearms in parks is one of exclusive local concern. To the extent that]C.R.S. 529-11.7-103[size= purports to preempt the Denver ordinance as it prohibits open carry in parks, I find beyond a reasonable doubt that it is unconstitutional."


    So, just like the rest of Denver, CC is legal w/permit and OC is not. Great question though. I never thought about it and would probably have assumed that OC was legal until I saw a sign.


  4. #4
    Regular Member reefteach's Avatar
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    Denver sucks. I wish I could be more helpful.

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    Good work centsi!!!!!!!!! I didn't have time to delve into the laws there. Wow! So even if the land is situated in another county, they still can enforce the no OC rule...sucks bigtime...

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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    Dom wrote:
    At Echo Lake they have a confusing set of signs: one says "no discharging of firearms" (ok), another says "firearms prohibited" (not ok). I could have parked by the road and not seen any of the signs before I went in.
    Anyone know if I can CC in these parks legally?
    I concur with the previous posters: yes, you can CC there.

    Colorado state law allows local governments to prohibit open carry in a specific area if all public entrances to the area are posted to the effect that open carry is prohibited therein. Probably Denver mountain parks are parts of the City of Denver, just like DIA property is part of Denver, no matter what counties they are in. The Echo Lake sign should read something like "open carry of firearms prohibited".

    Colorado state law does not allow local governments to expand the list of places whereconcealed carry (with a permit) is prohibited by the list in state law.


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    Thanks guys, that's really helpful. Though, I find it really strange that Denver can influence places so far away and remote. I thought I only had to worry about stepping over some imaginary no-OC line (Denver limits) in the city.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Anubis wrote:
    Dom wrote:
    At Echo Lake they have a confusing set of signs: one says "no discharging of firearms" (ok), another says "firearms prohibited" (not ok). I could have parked by the road and not seen any of the signs before I went in.
    Anyone know if I can CC in these parks legally?
    I concur with the previous posters: yes, you can CC there.

    Colorado state law allows local governments to prohibit open carry in a specific area if all public entrances to the area are posted to the effect that open carry is prohibited therein. Probably Denver mountain parks are parts of the City of Denver, just like DIA property is part of Denver, no matter what counties they are in. The Echo Lake sign should read something like "open carry of firearms prohibited".

    Colorado state law does not allow local governments to expand the list of places whereconcealed carry (with a permit) is prohibited by the list in state law.
    CC is perfectly legal in all CO state owned parks, forests, etc. No city can say otherwise under state preempt. OC is another story as it is not 'legal' per state law, just not 'illegal.'
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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