A television news report that residents of a Colorado public housing apartment complex wouldn’t be permitted to keep weapons in their own homes has engendered sufficient concern among the community’s housing board to compel the apartment management group responsible for the would-be ban to change their minds — or else.
A 77-year-old retired Marine living at the Oakwood Apartment complex in Castle Rock, Colo., contacted NBC 9News in Denver about the letter he and other residents had received notifying them of the forthcoming “gun-free” mandate, issued by property management company Ross Management Group. The ban on all firearms for current and future residents was to take effect Oct. 1.
But once officials on the board of the Douglas County Housing partnership — a Federally and locally funded public housing authority — saw the news station’s original report Wednesday, they grew alarmed and moved swiftly to contact the Ross Group.
In the hours between the evening and late news broadcasts Wednesday, the policy had been overruled. The county commission had learned of the ban and called on the housing authority to hold an emergency meeting. The Douglas County Housing Partnership did just that late Wednesday afternoon, deciding without hesitation to overrule the Ross Group.
Douglas County Director of Public Affairs Wendy Holmes told 9News that county commissioners were relieved that the housing board averted possible legal action by quickly striking down the ban.
“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.
Art Dorsch, the 77-year-old veteran who blew the whistle, thought he’d be forced to move out when he discovered the notice.
“They want to take them all away from me,” Dorsch said. “They say I can’t live here. I’m vulnerable. I’m not safe… Yeah, it’s emotional, because I don’t think it’s fair.”
By the day’s end, Dorsch knew he wouldn’t be forced to move. And he may even have had an inkling that he’d become a hero for neighbors, 2nd Amendment advocates nationwide and a grateful county government that didn’t need a potential lawsuit over how it was unwittingly using Section 8 funds to create a Constitution-free zone.