CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Castle Rock voters will decide Tuesday whether the town manager can allow residents to openly carry firearms in public spaces.

In January, the town council voted 4-3 voted to allow open carry in town buildings and parks, but not courts or schools. The move was allowed because the Town Code gives the town manager authority over open carry in those venues.

But earlier this year, the town council opted to put two questions to voters in a special election:

  • Whether the council should be allowed to repeal the ordinance giving the town manager authority to restrict and/or allow the open carry of firearms in town-owned buildings and parks; and
  • Whether the Town Charter should require voter approval of any future firearms restrictions

The mail-in ballots are due Tuesday. About 6,000 ballots had been returned Monday, out of 32,000 that were mailed to voters. Results are not expected to be finalized Tuesday because of a lawsuit that tried stopping the special election. A judge dismissed the case.

While Mayor Paul Donahue, who is managing partner of the Centennial Gun Club, has said he supports repealing the ban on open-carry, many county planning commissioners have threatened to resign “because of the increased possibility for intimidation and/or violence,” they stated in a letter from the Castle Rock Planning Commission last year.

The Castle Rock Public Safety Commission voted in 2013 to recommend against repealing the ban; and about 95 percent of town employees surveyed said they didn’t want it repealed.