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Update: Montezuma commissioners allow firearms in county buildings

The Montezuma County Board of County Commissioners will vote on a resolution Tuesday morning to opt out of a recent Colorado law prohibiting the carry of legal firearms in government buildings. (Adobe stock image)
Resolution comes in response to a new Colorado law

The Montezuma County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning for a resolution to opt out of a recent Colorado law that prohibits the carry of legal firearms in government buildings.

Commissioners Jim Candelaria, Kent Lindsay and Gerald Koppenhafer signed the resolution without further discussion or public comment.

Senate Bill 24-131, signed by Gov. Jared Polis on May 31, makes carrying any legal firearm, open or concealed, into a government building a Class 1 misdemeanor. The law includes exceptions for the military, law enforcement and security personnel. It provides an option for local government entities to permit firearms in buildings owned by that entity.

The resolution before the county commissioners, written by County Attorney Ian MacLaren, applied only to government buildings owned by Montezuma County.

Municipalities, including Cortez, Mancos and Dolores, have the option to opt out as well, at the discretion of the municipal government. Otherwise, the law will apply to buildings owned by the city.

Montezuma County has parted ways with state policy on gun control in the past.

In 2019, the commissioners signed a resolution declaring Montezuma County a “sanctuary county for the constitutional right to keep and bear arms” in response to House Bill 1177, a “red-flag” law that allows a court to confiscate legally owned firearms if a family member, household member or law enforcement officer can produce evidence under oath that the gun owner poses a clear threat to themselves or others.

The resolution opting out of SB24-131 would effectively preserve the current laws governing firearms in government buildings.

The law will go into effect July 1. The Douglas County Board of County Commissioners passed a similar resolution on May 14, nullifying the law before it was signed.