Granby bans carrying firearms openly in Town Hall |

Granby bans carrying firearms openly in Town Hall

The Town of Granby has tweaked its code to prohibit carrying a gun in plain sight into Town Hall.

The law was sparked by a recent episode, during which a former trustee candidate addressing the town board at the podium inside the meeting room of Town Hall had to pick up his semi-automatic pistol after it had dropped from his waistband to the floor.

The fact it had been a handgun that fell did not go over well with trustees, who sat as a panel facing the podium.

Although Granby Mayor Jynnifer Pierro had been absent from that meeting, in light of recent news – particularly what happened to Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – she said she felt the need for “some sort of protection for the people that are at Town Hall. Town Hall should feel safer,” she said.

A few gun rights advocates attended the ensuing June 28 Granby town board meeting about the topic.

Those with concealed carry permits, such as Ed Magee of Granby who dropped his gun at the podium, must pass background checks and undergo training, said Rich Dowell, a concealed weapons class instructor.

“It’s not the ones with concealed carry permits you have to worry about,” Dowell said. “It’s the ones who are already lawbreakers.”

For residents who have a permit to carry a concealed handgun, carrying such a gun in a public place is mostly a protected right in Colorado, save for restrictions at schools and public buildings where there are security checkpoints, such as the Grand County Courthouse.

Granby trustees learned the only option for otherwise prohibiting the carrying of firearms on public property is in Colorado’s open carry laws. By posting notice at Town Hall, the board now forbids the public from carrying guns in plain sight into the building.

The board pondered, but in the end rejected, laws on open carry of guns in other public places, such as parks, trails and open spaces, primarily due to the prevalence of wild animals in the Granby area.

“It was just an unfortunate encounter with gravity,” Magee said days after the episode. Magee said he had not intended for the gun to be exposed or for it to be in any way intimidating.

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603

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