Musgrave Freedom to Carry Act passes Senate!

Feb. 19, 1999 -- Proving once again that we can pass a better concealed carry bill, Sen. Musgrave managed to pilot Senate Bill 156 through the Colorado Senate today with only minor amendments.

Musgrave's bill, which would force Sheriffs to issue permits to any citizen who was eligible to purchase a firearm, was debated this morning.

Sen. Pat Pascoe, a long-time gun foe, sponsored an amendment to require government-mandated training for applicants, which failed on a voice vote.

Sen. Ron Teck's amendment to increase the maximum fee for the 4 year permit from $20 to $100 was the only unfriendly amendment to pass.

Teck failed to articulate why Sheriffs need to charge this high a fee, especially considering the background check (Brady) is free to law enforcement. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was doing background checks for handgun purchases for $10, which is sufficient under this bill.

The other amendments to pass were sponsored by Musgrave, setting the expiration of permits at 4 years, set a 10 day requirement for issuing the permits, and granted reciprocity to citizens from any state that allow carrying concealed and/or permits (it would recognize Vermont's citizens' rights while they are in Colorado).

Senator Jim Congrove also successfully ran an amendment removing the ability of Chiefs of Police to issue permits (Denver Public Safety manager would have the duty in the city of Denver, where there is no sheriff).

Today's victory is only one of the many more hurdles this bill faces. Though there was no recorded vote on passage of the bill during Second Reading, the Senate will cast recorded votes for final passage of the bill as early as Monday. That vote will be posted on this web site.

Call your Senator, or forget Concealed Carry

Feb. 14, 1999 -- Feb. 14, 1999 - In just a few days the Colorado Senate will consider the only concealed carry bill still active in the legislature, Sen. Musgrave and Rep. McKay's Freedom to Carry Act.

Musgrave's Vermont-style concealed carry bill needs your help

With politicians whining that the bill is too pro-gun (they want more restrictions on your right to self-defense) and some "pro-gun" organizations quietly trying to kill this concealed carry bill because they want to keep politicians happy (politicians want government-mandated training, fingerprinting, and centralized databases), this bill faces a challenge to pass the Senate.

Musgrave will offer clean-ups amendments

The Freedom to Carry Act forces Sheriffs to issue permits to any applicant who is eligible to purchase a firearm. It is simple, short, and doesn't allow for wiggle room for politicians who say "I support the Second Amendment" but fail to prove it.

Though still not permit-less Vermont carry, this measure is light years ahead of any concealed carry bill offered in the past. If passed, Colorado would have the second best concealed carry law in the nation.

When the Senate hears the bill this week, Musgrave will offer a series of "house cleaning" amendments to SB156. The amendments will do the following:

· Set a specific amount for the permit (a maximum of $20 for a four year permit)
· Set a time limit for Sheriffs to issue or deny (10 business days)
· Reciprocity (recognizes rights of other states' residents while in Colorado)

Remember, this bill also allows you to carry concealed in your vehicle without a permit for any legal use. The current law has ambiguous language that has been contorted to require proof of overnight traveling.

It would also overturn Denver's draconian "public nuisance" ordinance, since carrying concealed in a vehicle would be legal.

Other pro-gun Senators will offer amendments to remove the criminal safezones (areas where permit holders are not allowed to carry, giving criminals the advantage) that were added in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Call your Senator ASAP!

You can call your Senator at 1-888-473-8136 toll free (303-866-2316 in the Metro area). You can also fax a letter or note to your Senator at 303-866-2012.

Ask your Senator to do two things: Remove all the criminal safezones, and PASS THIS BILL.

Any other vote will be considered anti-gun. Politely let your Senator know that this is THE gun vote for 1999, and should be considered very carefully.

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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