Concealed Carry passes Senate Judiciary;
Chlouber says "The pro-gunners are not going to be happy with this bill."
In an effort to compromise with legendary anti-gunner Sen. Dottie Wham, SB96 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a vote of 5-3.
Contrary to today's newspaper headlines, this bill is not a step forward, but a strategic nightmare for Second Amendment forces.
Chlouber and Wham's deal gives municipalities the ability to create "criminal safezones" where permit holders could not carry. Instead, permit holders would be arrested in areas where city councils bar concealed weapons, such as parks, sidewalks, streets, and just about any other innovative definition the gun grabbers will invent to make certain your permit is worthless.
Rather than simplifying, this law would make a jigsaw puzzle of legal and illegal areas for permit holders. Your trip through an area like metro Denver would best be charted out, winding your way through prohibited areas like a cowardly criminal, in order to avoid breaking the law.
Don't fall for the Affirmative Defense argument
These "criminal safezones" aren't areas where concealed weapons are banned outright; instead, permit holders can use the affirmative defense argument, again another compromise. Permit holders are currently subject to the affirmative defense pitfall, and we shouldn't accept it in a bill that is supposed to fix things.
In practical terms, you go through government-mandated training, pay your application fee, endure an extensive criminal background investigation that includes being fingerprinted, only to find that when you carry your handgun through a Westminster park you can be arrested and thrown in jail, where you must post bond and hire an attorney.
Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mutzebaugh said the affirmative defense argument would, after your arrest, force you to "...explain why you are carrying it to the judge and show reason," after which he could fine you if he was not convinced by your explanation.
Wham threatened pro-gun forces, saying she "...will once again lead the charge to kill this bill" if we change her compromise.
Pleasure of the Sheriff or Chief
Yesterday the committee gave the Sheriff or Chief of Police broad power to deny issuing the permit on the basis of information gathered during the background investigation. Those of you who live in areas with rabid anti-gun Sheriffs, like Larimer County, can be sure that this clause will be used as a catch-all reason to deny permits.
Still time to change the bill
SB96 now goes to the Senate Appropriations committee, where it will certainly be voted to the Senate floor. Call your Senator at (303) 866-4866 and ask him/her to support removing the anti-gun "criminal safezones" provisions.