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A new Colorado Springs ordinance bans the "open carrying" of firearms in city buildings. In a close 5-4 vote, city council members approved the ban after several hours of debate.
This ordinance will only ban the carrying of firearms in the open. People with concealed weapons permits will still be allowed to bring concealed weapons into city owned buildings
"We want our constituents to feel they can come to city hall and participate in government anytime they want to without any kind of intimidation or fear." That was the message from Mayor Lionel Rivera as the city council listened to public comment on the proposal.
The issue was brought to the forefront by the actions of Don Ortega. On July 8th, Ortega brought a disassembled shotgun into council chambers. He did not break any laws, but some think he's trying reverse psychology---using the stunt to try to get city council to ban weapons in city-owned buildings.
"I do not agree with what Mr. Ortega is doing. I do not believe a responsible gun owner would bring a shotgun into city council chambers," said Bernie Herpin of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition
But Ortega argued, he only wanted to preserve Open Carry laws. "If they are legally in possession of a firearm, I do not believe that there needs to be any restriction on their access to any buildings," he said.
Several city employees also commented at the meeting---saying that they supported the ordinance in an effort to create a safer workplace.