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Outrage of the Week, Averted

Friday, August 9, 2013

This week's outrage comes to us via Castle Rock, Colorado, where a 77-year-old retired US Marine Corps veteran was recently informed by his apartment complex that residents would no longer be able to own firearms there, and would have to get rid of their guns or move out. 

A recent 9News article reported on the plight of Art Dorsch, who feared homelessness if he didn't comply with the new edict.  A longtime hunter and concealed-carry permit holder, Dorsch says that apartment managers told him to give up the guns and stay, give notice and move out voluntarily, or be forced to move out if he didn't comply with the new policy.

Dorsch was understandably concerned for both his safety, and his freedom:  "I'm vulnerable.  I'm not safe," he said.   "Yeah it's emotional. Because I don't think it's fair."

Fortunately, in the midst of the ensuing fire-storm of angry complaints and negative publicity, the Oakwood Apartments management (The Ross Management Group) reversed course, and did not implement the gun ban after all.  As it turns out, Ross Management was forced to make that decision.

In a follow-up article, 9News reported that a multi-jurisdictional housing authority--the Douglas County Housing Partnership--owns Oakwood Apartments in Castle Rock, and purchased the complex with federal funds.  The seniors apartment complex is also supported by local, state, and federal tax dollars. And, according to a spokesperson for the Denver Housing Authority, "It's unconstitutional to prohibit the legal possession of a gun or a firearm on public housing property."

At an emergency board of directors meeting, the Douglas County Housing Partnership decided the controversial policy would not go into effect.

"These community policy changes were distributed without the knowledge or authorization of the Board of Directors of the Douglas County Housing Partnership or its staff," the group's release said. "This board does not support any action that infringes on an individual's rights and will not allow Ross Management to implement these changes. The mission of the Douglas County Housing Partnership is to preserve and develop safe, secure, quality housing while providing housing choices for those who have few."

The 9News follow-up article further noted that Douglas County Director of Public Affairs, Wendy Holmes, said county commissioners were "alarmed" to learn of the policy and pushed the housing authority for "an acceptable and expeditious resolution."

"The Board of Douglas County Commissioners is pleased that the Housing Authority concurred with the Commissioner's position that the policy changes from Ross Management should not move forward. We thank them for a quick and proper conclusion," Holmes said in a statement.

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