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Posted: 1/8/2003 5:50:15 AM EST
Calling all El Paso county activists! This is from Bernie Herpin, Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition.
----- Original Message -----
From: Bernie Herpin
To: PPFC List ; Firearms List ; FCC List ; CSSA List
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 9:19 PM
Subject: Concealed Carry in County Parks


If you saw the story on the front page of the Colorado Springs Gazette (see below), El Paso County Commissioner-elect Wayne Williams has asked the County Attorney to provide a draft change to county regulations regarding carrying of concealed carry in county parks.
The first step in the process is a hearing before the County Parks Advisory Board. This hearing will take place on Tuesday, January 14, at 1:30 PM, in the County Commissioners’ hearing room on the 3rd floor of the County Office Building, 27 E Vermijo Ave. All gun-rights activists are encouraged to attend.

County will likely allow guns in parks
By PAM ZUBECK - THE GAZETTE

A ban on firearms in county parks is likely to be lifted after two commissioners take office next week.

Jim Bensberg and Wayne Williams, to be sworn in Jan. 14, are expected to join Commission Chairman Tom Huffman in repealing the ban on concealed weapons.

Williams said Monday he's asked the County Attorney's Office to draft a revision to park regulations to allow those with permits to carry concealed weapons to be armed in county parks. All other firearms would still be banned.

The issue will go to the Park Advisory Board, which will make a recommendation to commissioners for consideration, perhaps as early as next month.

"I think it's appropriate to tell these people `we trust you in a county park,'" said Williams, referring to concealed weapon permit-holders.

Bensberg agrees.

"I just believe that anyone who has a lawfully issued concealed carry permit should be allowed to carry in the parks to protect his or her family and himself," Bensberg said.

The ban has been in place since 1996 when commissioners adopted rules for county parks that banned alcohol, glass containers, fireworks, open fires and firearms.

It was debated in July 1998 when Sheriff John Anderson and then-Commissioner Betty Beedy revived the issue, arguing people with permits to carry concealed weapons should be allowed to be armed in county parks.

To get a permit, a person must go through a background check, fingerprinting and a firearms training course. Of the 4,813 residents who currently hold concealed weapons permits, none has had the permit revoked for incidents involving the weapons.

Advocates of the change say they worry about their safety, even though crime in parks is rare. They don't believe parks should be different than county office buildings, where concealed weapons are allowed but cannot be displayed. No weapons are allowed in the courthouse by a judge's order.

Opponents have said they're concerned about presence of weapons in areas used by children and families.

They also argue a repeal would create a regulatory mess because some county parks and trails overlap city boundaries, school district property, military bases and private land where guns are not allowed.

For example, Bear Creek Regional Park is partially in Colorado Springs city limits, and Section 16, a popular hiking and biking area south of Manitou Springs, is leased by the county from the State Land Board.

It's unclear whether city rules, which ban guns in parks, would apply to Bear Creek. The state has said it has no policy on firearms.

In 1998, Commissioners Ed Jones, Jeri Howells and Chuck Brown voted to retain the ban. Betty Beedy and Duncan Bremer voted to lift it.

Next week, Bensberg replaces Jones and Williams replaces Bremer, both of whom are leaving office due to term limits.

Huffman, who took office in 2001, hasn't voted as a commissioner on the matter but has said he opposes the ban.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0238 or zubeck@gazette.com

Copyright 2003, The Gazette, a Freedom Communications, Inc. Company. All rights reserved. Contact us.
--------------

Bernie Herpin
Vice President, Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition
http://www.ppfc.org

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go around repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for
independence." Charles A. Beard, American historian
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 9:39:20 PM EST
Jim Bensberg is my Co-commitee man for Precint 145 here in C/S. These are issues which we discused well prior to the Cacus. I formed a solid trust in his intent to do whats right, Fair and best for those he hoped to represent.

I did not expect him and the other (El Paso) county commissioners to come charging out of the gate so to speak. I did/do expect it on the state level. All well and good - If we can hit them on all fronts at the same time we may be able to over run and secure the rights which have been chilled for so long.

(Next we need Bernie on City council...)
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