Denver Science Museum Reverses Course on Concealed Carry

denver museum concealed-carry

The Denver Business Journal found that people support the policy by more than 2-1. (Photo: DBJ)

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.

gallup 2015 concealed-carry

Gallup also found a majority support for concealed-carry. (Photo: Gallup)

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.

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • David hamilton October 6, 2017, 12:47 pm

    I think at least part of the reason some businesses, or venues implement no-gun policies is to limit exposure to potential litigation by families of anyone shot on premises, regardless of their role. By not condoning concealed carry, they can somewhat mitigate the number of ways they are left open, civilly. Likewise, I doubt anyone found ignoring that policy would face repercussions, if discovered, in a state where doing so has no legal penalty.

  • Dennis July 6, 2017, 2:32 pm

    Hopefully, when someone is endangered, injured, or worse by a shooter in a “gun free zone” , somebody will sue on the grounds that if you won’t let me protect myself, then you assume the responsibility to protect me. The NRA, or oneof the myriad of other pro-gun rights groups need to pick up on this idea and take action. Fear of litigation changes the way people think. A few multi million dollar suits would have huge impact.

  • DaveGinOly January 10, 2016, 10:30 pm

    Most businesses that bar concealed carry/firearms from their premises don’t stop to consider that concealed carriers/firearms have always been on their premises and have never been a problem. Why would they think that banning them now would avert a problem (possession of a firearm by a law-abiding person at the business location) that doesn’t exist and has never existed? Also, by not banning firearms, businesses do not necessarily increase the number of firearms on their property, they merely make it possible that a good citizen with a gun will be present if something bad happens. This alone can deter the “bad,” possibly without exposing a business’s patrons to the presence of any firearms at all!

  • Jakob Stagg January 9, 2016, 12:22 pm

    I would prefer allowing armed permit holders to hoping no violent criminal will honor a “Gun Free Zone” sign. The greatest disasters occur where there is an assumption of safety.

    Sandy Hook is probably one of the best examples in history. The government assured those children and teachers had no protection or defense. No other outcome was possible. The crowning touch was for King Obama to launch another campaign against law abiding gun owners, while completely ignoring the threat of violent people. That attack was launched before anyone knew what happened and the legal status of shooter and firearms. Blaming people that didn’t do it is beyond irresponsible.

  • Dudd January 8, 2016, 9:59 pm

    In colorado no gun signs don’t have force of law, so change in policy had little affect on carrying museum if gun is properly concealed it’s a moot point.

    • Registered User January 9, 2016, 9:26 am

      True, but it would be considered trespassing. Many law-abiding gun owners will honor the request by taking their business elsewhere. Smart move Denver Science Museum!

  • Lloyd Lisco January 8, 2016, 7:44 pm

    Gun deaths as referred to by government and the news media include, Police shootings, Suicides and Accidental shootings, Thereby greatly increasing the statistics called Gun violence. These people simply cannot tell the truth.

    • Jeff October 17, 2016, 2:12 pm

      True. And Mass Shooting Statistics are even more unreliable. They very so drastically they are literally meaningless. The media claims anywhere from 600+ per year (2016 ABC World News) to 26 during Obama’s two terms. On the one hand we have the “4 or more people shot in one incident” definition, which includes gang shooting (which at least where I live, is rarely reported by the media since the Black Lives media blitz began). On the other hand we have incidences like Sandy Hook, the Navy Yard in Washington , Columbine, etc.
      Being the FBI does not compile mass shooting statistics, or at least will not admit so publicly, but rather keeps Mass Murder and Mass Homicide statistics, the Mass Shooting term can be anything the media wants it to be to fit their agenda.

  • Terry January 8, 2016, 12:51 pm

    I have wondered before if statistics exist pertaining to gun crimes that evolve from a legal concealed
    carry. I do not recall any such indecent in any news I have read or seen broadcast. It seems those statistics would carry a very strong case when shown and compared to gun crimes committed by illegal carry.

    Does anyone have those statistics?

    • Carter January 8, 2016, 1:28 pm

      If you do a news search, recently a woman with a concealed carry permit shot a fleeing suspect after a botched robbery attempt (in a Walmart or K-mart parking lot) and she has been arrested and charged with homicide (second degree, I believe) I cannot remember the city, but this happens within the last 3 months. There is actually a cell phone video of her shooting the fleeing unarmed man in the back after be broke loose from two men trying to detain him.

      Though they are not common, there are probably other crimes like this where a person’s legally carrying a firearm shoots someone in violation of the law. A permit is no guarantee of good judgement or the ability to control a temper.

      • OngoingFreedom January 8, 2016, 7:51 pm

        So your answer is ‘no’, you so not have the requested statistics.

      • Kenneth January 10, 2016, 1:24 pm

        Carter, you are quite correct in pointing out that she shot in violation of the laws. Not only is that a failure on her part, but to some extent a failure on the part of her CHL instructor. Why do I say this, because I am an instructor, and one of the most important, after safety and limiting access by a child, is the knowledge of the laws and how they pertain to the carry and use of that firearm. I have had experience with people asking me questions about what is allowable and what is not, by students who have taken and passes their CHL testing requirements and passed. I don’t know why they are not being taught the circumstances under which you can use a firearm legally, except that they are being given and read the particular laws that refer to carry and use but not given examples. I make extensive use of examples both through stories and through videos. A person should be taught that defending a business’s property is not the same as defending your own property and /or your neighbor’s property. I always bring up the question: ‘Is any piece of personal property, which is usually insured, worth the life of another human being?” Instructors cannot deny a person the class or test, but in the instructors training we ‘were’ told that if we had a bad feeling or worried about the persons reason or understanding of the laws we were to send a separate note attached to the form documenting our concerns. Because of all of this is why I say that there is some responsibility on the instructor to teach the class correctly, and one of the reasons that instructors have liability insurance for the classes they teach.

  • Kane January 8, 2016, 11:05 am

    I live in Illinois and a short while back my state of residence was one of the last to establish some form CC laws. At the same time period my dentist was trying to gauge my opinion of the new laws and how I might feel about him not allowing his customers to bring firearms on his premises. I do not remember talking about firearms with him in the past so it’s possible that he questioned many of his other patients on the topic. I simply told him that I was not afraid of a legally carried firearm while on the other hand any sign banning guns did concern me since there could be a greater likelihood that criminals might target his office. He has never put up the gun ban sign and his office runs just as well as before.

  • David W. Stephenson January 8, 2016, 10:27 am

    Those that restrict, will think twice,when some terroist or crazy idiot comes in and starts shooting, I’m a retired LEO,and we don’t run from trouble, we run toward it!

    • RAPTOR555 January 8, 2016, 2:50 pm

      Hear, Hear! from another retired LE

  • Chris Baker January 8, 2016, 7:25 am

    If a firearm is properly concealed how would they know it’s there?
    If you have to get a permit, how is your right to keep and bear arms not infringed?
    If you have to ask permission to exercise a right, doesn’t that make it a privilege instead of a right?
    If the federal government has laws (it does) that restrict where you can carry an arm of any sort, how is that not a violation of your right to keep and bear arms which “…shall not be infringed”?

    • Larry January 8, 2016, 11:24 am

      Great post, Chris.

    • David Christensen January 8, 2016, 2:03 pm

      If a firearm is properly concealed how would they know it’s there?

      That is the point! The bad guy doesn’t know for sure, but their COULD be someone there that can take him out. Since it is not a gun free zone, he moves on…..

      • Smoke Hill Farm January 10, 2016, 3:29 am

        The smart shop owner would put up signs proclaiming that it was NOT a gun-free zone.

  • Jondarmes January 8, 2016, 5:23 am

    About time, an armed society is a polite society.

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