- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Gun owners can now openly carry their weapons in El Paso County parks.

The Board of County Commissioners unanimously reversed a ban on open carry on parks on Tuesday, The Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1g9Z0NX ). The vote allows open carry, but forbids the discharge of guns, fireworks or explosive devices in county parks.

Each of the four commissioners who approved the change cited the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its language regarding the right to bear arms.

Some board members said they didn’t want to incriminate law-abiding citizens who want to defend themselves.

The city of Colorado Springs also allows open carry in city parks.

Multiple people also spoke out in favor of the board’s decision.

Resident Clay Turner said there is a “misguided belief that a gun-free zone will enhance public safety.” He cited several school shootings, including the April 20, 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton.

Turner argued there is no empirical evidence that shows open carry leads to more violence.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com

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