The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is reversing its position on concealed carry on their premises, giving gun owners the nod to bring their legally-carried concealed firearms to the museum.
This is in direct response to recent mass shootings and recognizes that in an emergency situation, concealed carriers can provide an additional layer of security. This is a far cry from the old protocol which only allowed law enforcement officers working within their jurisdiction to bring guns to the museum.
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science joins other Denver cultural centers that are open to concealed-carry holders including the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Denver Zoo.
Their website has been updated and the policy stating, “Persons possessing concealed weapons permits that do not fall into one of the above named categories are specifically denied permission to bring weapons into the Museum” has been removed, along with all signs banning handguns on their property.
The new policy quietly went into effect last December, in time for the holiday season. The museum’s board of trustees decided to reexamine their concealed-carry ban after the November attacks in Paris, and the following San Bernardino shootings cemented their change of position.
The Denver Business Journal ran an informal poll asking readers if they thought the museum made the right call and the response is overwhelmingly in support of concealed-carry. Of the more than 4,500 participants nearly two-thirds of readers approved of the new policy, more than double the number of people opposed to the change in policy.
This is in-line with the Oct. 2015 Gallup annual Crime poll, which shows that nationally the majority of Americans–56 percent–believe that pro-concealed-carry policies make people safer, with only 41 percent who think that concealed-carry puts people at risk.
Museum spokeswoman Maura O’Neal told Colorado’s Westword journal that the trustees consulted with the Denver Police Department before finalizing their position. Although the museum hasn’t made a public statement, they have already received positive comments from their patrons who carry concealed firearms.
Colorado issues concealed-carry permits to residents 21 and older who are not prohibited persons and who have completed a handgun safety course. Concealed-carry is only restricted public buildings with guards and permanent security installations, in federal buildings in accord with federal law and public schools K-12.
With gun sales soaring to new highs and the concealed-carry market booming, this policy reversal could be just one of many in the coming months and years.