Aspen considers gun ban in public buildings

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Aspen City Hall.
Aspen Occasions file photo

If Aspen City Council passes a proposed ban on deadly weapons in municipal government buildings Tuesday, the only individual in council chambers permitted to carry a gun will be a police officer.

Council will take into account Tuesday through its typical meeting passing an ordinance prohibiting the possession of deadly weapons in city-owned buildings.

The move is in response to developing issues of growing gun violence in the nation, and follows in the footsteps of other municipalities that have placed bans in public buildings.

The proposed law, which was reviewed on initial reading final month, brought gun advocates from as far away as Garfield County, who criticized council members for impinging on their Second Amendment rights.

Opponents of the proposed law are anticipated to address council once more this week on final reading of the ordinance.

City officials do not strategy to set up metal detectors or something related to know no matter whether people today are carrying guns into buildings the law is basically a symbolic gesture a lot more than something else, elected officials have mentioned.

There’s been a police officer stationed in council chambers through typical meetings for more than a year, due to issues from city employees and the public concerning certain folks.

Police presence in council meetings and at the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority board of directors meetings has been a continual considering that at least early 2018 when government antagonist Lee Mulcahy was restricted on his access to city buildings.

Earlier this month, council agreed to a $9,000 expenditure for the Aspen Police Department’s 2020 price range to cover the price of overtime hours for an officer to be present through typical City Council meetings, held the initial and third Tuesdays of the month.

Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor told council he required the further funds to cover what he believes are his responsibilities to the neighborhood.

“While we have one particular police officer in right here we have one particular fewer member of the employees on shift delivering solutions to the neighborhood,” he mentioned. “This $9,000 would allow us to spend for an overtime position to cover that shift.”

In a adhere to-up interview final week, City Manager Sara Ott mentioned it is fantastic dollars spent.

“I do not consider the neighborhood anticipated a reduction in service so I consider it is a little quantity of dollars to address security,” she mentioned.

Ott added that possessing a police presence in council chambers is not in response to soley one particular individual, but to a higher general public security concern.

She and city officials continue to go over future safety measures for the new municipal workplace building currently below building along Rio Grande Location.

“The globe has continued to modify and some of these violent acts have occurred in public meetings,” she mentioned.

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