House passes HB1316 with Lautenberg gun ban;
SB156 and Vermont Law Amendments are defeated

March 19, 1999 - The Colorado House today passed HB1316, a compromise concealed carry bill and the only active CCW bill in the legislature

HB1316 slightly improved

Though some of Sheriff discretion was removed (thanks to your pressure) the bill still has problems.

St. Rep. Scott McKay, the House sponsor to the now-dead SB156, offered an amendment to change the restrictive language of HB1316 into a more-free SB156.

At the direction of the bill sponsor and the NRA, the Lautenberg gun ban language, opposed by gun owners on a federal level, is still a part of the bill. This means that if you have ever been convicted of a domestic violence charge, the state of Colorado stops you from getting a CCW permit and the federal government denies you the right to own a weapon. With this language, HB1316 is fair game to kill for lawmakers who are not willing to pass gun control, no matter its form.

Amendments to remove the entire Lautenberg language failed, as did efforts to lower the fee (this bill sets a maximum of $100, though South Dakota only charges $8, New Hampshire $20, etc).

Later in the floor action, State Rep. Mark Paschall offered a "Vermont Law" amendment, which would have simply removed the penalty for law-abiding citizens who carry concealed without a permit.

"I am tired of the legislature turning a right into a privilege," said Paschall. "The secret goal of government is to incrementally take away our freedoms, and I won't be a part of it."

Paschall's Vermont Law amendment, as well as McKay's SB156 language amendment, each garnered only the votes of State Reps. Lauri Clapp, Rob Fairbank, Don Lee, Don McElhany, Scott McKay, Shawn Mitchell, Joe Nunez, Mark Paschall, and Penn Pfiffner.

Now Where?

HB1316 now faces one more vote in the House, called Third Reading. It is then sent over to the Senate where President Ray Powers assigns the bill to a committee

Word within the State Capitol is that sponsors of HB1316 are considering adding criminal safezones to their bill to make it more palatable to some members of the Senate, though many of HB1316's supporters claim to be adamantly opposed to these no-safety zones.

More later as news develops.

Musgrave/McKay Concealed Carry bill dies in House Judiciary Committee

March 4, 1999 -- As predicted, the House Judiciary Committee has killed SB156, the only concealed carry bill to make it through the Senate. HB1316 is still scheduled for a floor vote in the House.

Testifying against the least restrictive concealed carry bill ever offered in the Colorado legislature was the Colorado State Shooting Association and the Firearms Coalition of Colorado.

SB156 moved the yard sticks. Rather than just assuming we must take what the politicians give us and be happy, it asked for FAR more than any previous CCW bill. The bill died on a vote of 10-3, with only Reps. Decker, Hefley and Mitchell supporting the bill.

HB1316 needs cleaning

State Rep. Doug Dean's HB1316 has done what it intended: it killed the bill that passed the Senate (SB156), and gave Governor Owens a pass on making a tough decision were he to face a bill that did not require training.

Now gun rights activists must work to fix the ailing HB1316, which has more than its fair share of problems:

- sponsors put on an amendment in the House Agriculture Committee to give Sheriff's discretion on the application, which is no different than the current situation. Any sheriff could simply point to any situation, any incident relating to an applicant, and deny the permit, no matter how minor. It would make for a victory in name only.

- HB1316 reinforces the Lautenberg Gun Ban, which was passed on the federal level several years ago and may be the most insidious infringement of gun rights in history. Anyone convicted of a domestic violence charge would be denied a permit, a concept that GOA has fought in Congress for years. It is not surprising that the NRA would support such language: their "repeal" of Lautenberg (sponsored by Congressman Bob Barr) would only remove the retroactivity of Lautenberg, again conceding a huge amount of territory to the gun grabbers.

To leave this kind of language on a Colorado concealed carry bill is a de facto endorsement of Lautenberg -- be assured we will do everything in our power to remove this language.

- The fee, a maximum of $100 for a 5 year permit, is too high. Politicians increased the fee on SB156, and made sure HB1316 had a high fee in order to fatten the bureaucrats' budgets, who would have to spend less than $20 to do the background check.

What you can do:

Call your State Representative today at 303-866-2904 and tell him/her that HB1316 should only be passed if it is cleaned up -- we have worked too hard for the last 6 years to pass a concealed carry bill that does nothing but keep the politicians happy.

Musgrave/McKay Concealed Carry bill Passes the Senate

Feb. 22, 1999 -- SB156 passed the full Senate today on a vote of 20-13. Only two Democrats, Jim Dyer of Durango and Alice Nichol of Adams County, voted in favor of the bill, with the rest of the Senate falling down partisan lines. Sens. Elsie Lacy and Dave Wattenberg, both questionable GOP votes, were absent today. The Bill now goes to the House, where House Speaker Russ George will assign the bill to a committee and begin the hearing process.

Former Hero turns Benedict Arnold, tries to kill Musgrave/McKay Freedom to Carry Act

Once a staunch supporter of Vermont-type concealed carry, State Rep. Doug Dean (R-Colo. Springs) has sponsored a more restrictive concealed carry bill to compete with SB156.

This bill is nothing more than an effort to compromise our issue and pass anything, at any cost, just so that a politician can get his glory. Its effect will be to allow elected officials to split their votes between the two bills, and kill real concealed carry reform for 1999.

Dean's bill, HB1316, has government-mandated training, and even has a provision denying permits to those convicted of domestic violence, something gun owners have been fighting on the federal level for years (called the Lautenberg Gun Ban). In other words, you could be arrested for spanking your child and this bill would add to the federal language denying you your rights.

This move is especially puzzling because Rep. Dean used to be an ally on matters of freedom. His only reason to carry this bill, which makes passage of SB156 even more difficult, is to get statewide publicity just prior to the NRA National Convention, which will be held in May in Denver. Rather than go to the matt for your rights, Rep. Dean wants to curry favor at a convention.

Dean was an early critic of SB156. He flatly stated that the Musgrave/McKay bill could not pass the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it did. Then he said it could not pass the Senate floor, but it did today. Now, he claims the Governor will not sign the bill, but Owens' election was far too close for him to anger every gunnie in Colorado.

Apparently, Rep. Dean's political career is now more important than principle.

What you can do:

Call State Rep. Doug Dean (the House Majority Leader) at 303-866-2348 today, and tell him to stop playing games with concealed carry!

Tell him he can become a hero again by helping to pass SB156, the Musgrave/McKay Freedom to Carry Act, instead of offering another CCW bill that muddies up the debate and may kill all concealed carry hopes for 1999.

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