Denver has enacted tougher gun restrictions that ban concealed weapons permit holders from carrying firearms inside city buildings and public parks.

The Denver City Council voted 9-3 Monday to adopt an ordinance that is part of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s 2022 Public Safety Action Plan to reduce gun violence in the city. The mayor is expected to sign.

“I don’t think it’s necessary nor appropriate for members of the public, city employees or anybody to have a concealed weapon in a city facility,” said Council President Stacie Gilmore at a hearing April 27.

Three council members, who voted against the plan, expressed concern about banning law-abiding permit holders from carrying guns in parks.

“There is no data, no foundation that this actually does anything at all to improve our safety,” said Councilmember Kevin Flynn. “This ordinance tonight is not about making it illegal to carry concealed weapons in a park. It is about removing the exception for people who have permits to do so.”

Councilmember Candi CdeBaca proposed an amendment that would have removed parks from the ordinance, because she said it creates more opportunities for excessive use of force from law enforcement. That effort failed.

“This one in particular is painful, as a person of color, as someone who has been affected by police excessive use of force in our family,” said CdeBaca. “We just opened the doors to justify it.”

While concealed weapons permit holders will be banned from carrying weapons into Denver city buildings and public parks, there are some exceptions. Police, security guards and military personnel are exempt from the ordinance, as well as people using guns for legitimate sporting activities.

Violators caught with a firearm could get fined up to $50 for a first offense and up to $999 for additional violations, plus up to 300 days in jail.

The penalties will not be enforced until new prohibited firearms signage is posted at entrances to city buildings and parks in Denver.

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