Senate Judiciary passes Musgrave's Vermont-style concealed carry permit bill

Senate Judiciary passes Musgrave's Vermont-style concealed carry permit bill,
Tables two weaker gun measures

Feb. 1, 1999 -- In an unprecedented move, the Colorado State Senate Judiciary Committee today passed Senator Marilyn Musgrave's (R-Fort Morgan) Vermont-style concealed carry permit bill to the Senate floor and tabled two weaker measures by Senators Tebedo (R-Colo. Springs) and Chlouber (R-Leadville).

"This is the first Vermont-style concealed carry bill to pass to the full Colorado Senate floor for debate," said RMGO Chairman Damien Veatch. "Rather than forcing citizens to get fingerprinted, endure an exhaustive criminal background check, pay for government-mandated training, and pay high fees, the burden is placed on sheriffs to prove an applicant is not eligible, and only charge for the actual cost of the permit."

Though the bill, dubbed the Freedom to Carry Act, had one significant amendment, it still remains in its original form: sheriffs shall issue concealed carry permits to those who are eligible to purchase a firearm.

Musgrave's bill, SB156, was expected to die at the hands of committee members, who would instead favor measures by Chlouber and Tebedo that have much more government red-tape and higher burdens on citizens. The most significant difference between SB156 and the two other bills is that Musgrave's does not require citizens to get government-mandated training to receive the permit.

"While we are staunch advocates of firearms training, government has no business telling citizens that they need to spend money and time to get training in order to practice their Second Amendment rights," said Veatch. "Colorado does not require citizens to get government-mandated training to purchase a firearm, or to carry a firearm openly. Why do we then require training if that firearm is concealed by a jacket or a purse?"

"RMGO and Gun Owners of America have been the only statewide or national organizations actively trying to pass real concealed carry reform like Musgrave's bill," said Veatch. "We'd certainly like the NRA and other groups to join in helping to pass this bill instead of compromising our rights."

RMGO is Colorado's largest gun rights organizations, with members in all 63 counties.

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