Legislative Committees to begin hearings on gun issues;
Speaker pulls a fast one in House gun control bill assignment
Friday, January 21, 2000 -- The House and Senate have scheduled hearings on a number of gun controls proposals next week, with more surely to be heard shortly thereafter.
It's time to gear up the troops
On Monday, January 24th at 1:30 pm, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear SB10 (which limits lawsuits against firearms manufacturers), SB89 (which sets sweeping new limits on firearms transfers & age of possession), and SB125 (which authorizes the CBI to conduct the Brady Registration checks). The schedule also announces that other firearms-related bills could be heard on that day, should any be introduced in time.
The hearing will be in room 356, which is where many gun bills have been heard in previous years (on third floor, between the elevators).
On Tuesday, January 25th, the House State Affairs Committee will hear one good bill (HB1208, another lawsuit limitation bill for gun manufacturers) as well as some disastrous bills: HB1220 (Under 21 Gun Show Purchase Prohibition) and HB1245 (Prohibiting Weapons on School Property). That meeting will take place in room 0107 (in the basement of the Capitol, between the elevators) upon adjournment of the House (around 10:00 am).
There is also rumor that the House Judiciary Committee will hear a number of the "more reasonable" gun control proposals on Thursday. We will forward any details as we confirm.
Everyone is strongly encouraged to attend. If you want to testify on the bills, we suggest talking to RMGO Executive Director Dudley Brown for instructions. Look for his RMGO nametag.
Here's what to do: Call the following State Senators and Representatives as soon as possible to urge them to vote against ALL of the gun control proposals, whether sponsored by liberal Democrats, moderate Republicans, or our turncoat Governor.
Some politicians are telling citizens they are opposing gun control, but then are actively working for "reasonable gun safety measures." Once these laws get momentum, they will be difficult to stop and nearly impossible to repeal. And don't assume a bill will stay in its current form: measures like the "Straw Purchase" bill could easily be amended to prohibit giving a firearm as a gift, and passed through the process quickly. Let's kill these bills quickly, and get back to the business of concealed carry and passing a statewide preemption law.
You can call every House and Senate member, but especially call these lawmakers that are key to killing the gun control bills:
Senate Judiciary Committee Key members:
Sen. Ken Arnold (R-Westminster) 303-866-4876
John Andrews (R-Englewood) 303-866-4883
Mary Ellen Epps (R-Colo. Springs) 303-866-6364
John Evans (R-Douglas Co.) 303-866-4881
Statewide Senate (toll free) 1-888-473-8136
House State Affairs Committee Key members:
Andy McElhany, Chairman (R-Colo. Springs) 303-866-2904
Don Lee (R-Littleton) 303-866-2939
Penn Pfiffner (R-Lakewood) 303-866-2951
Bill Sinclair (R-Colo. Springs) 303-866-2965
Joe Stengel (R-Littleton) 303-866-2953
Statewide House (toll free) 1-800-811-7647
If you get their voice mail, make certain to leave a nice but firm message that you want EVERY gun control bill killed NOW.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUN OWNERS
Rep. Doug Dean
200 East Colfax
Denver, Colorado 80203
January 4, 2000
We hear from people that you continue to cover up the things you have said and done to harm our Second Amendment rights.
As you know, actions speak louder than words.
Let me briefly review just a few of the facts that you are hiding from your constituents and the citizens of Colorado.
As you know, Mr. Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America recently sent a letter to gun rights supporters in Colorado to let them know their rights are in jeopardy.
First, know that Mr. Pratt is our country’s strongest supporter of the Second Amendment. Rather than fattening their bank account (like many bureaucrats in the institutional gun lobbies) Mr. Pratt has been a tireless advocate for our rights, and, more importantly, against any compromise of those rights.
In your response to Mr. Pratt you state that you oppose background checks at gun shows, but just this summer you sent a letter to the Colorado State Shooting Association already conceding that they would pass and that you wanted "it done our [Republicans] way." Much like the disaster in 1994 that gave us the Brady Instant Registration check (which is now registering gun owners by the thousands), you suggest that we fashion the chains that will bind us.
Rather than fight the registration of private sales at gun shows, you are presenting a false dilemma. To borrow a friend’s analogy "At what speed would you rather drive off the cliff, 60 mph or 90 mph?" Gun Owners do not want any of it to pass, and don’t want their elected officials to support any of it. Anyone with fingerprints on a bill like this is responsible for it passing, and gun owners deserve to know who is behind this appeasement tactic.
You state that you oppose safe storage laws (what we think are more accurately called Lock-Up-Your-Safety laws), yet at a news conference in November you asked Rep. Rob Fairbank to carry this very bill. It started out being a bill addressing firearms, it has evolved into storage of "weapons", and now, per our phone conversation, storage of anything. Regardless of semantics,
this bill would greatly affect how firearms owners protect themselves. For fear of being strung up before a kangaroo court populated by anti-gun jurists, gun owners would need to lock up their safety by storing the firearms they depend on for the protection of themselves and their families.
Though you do not use the name "safe storage" in the title of this bill, Gov. Owens referred to the bill as "safe storage" on KOA radio on January 3rd. This bill exists only because you asked a lawmaker to carry it, and it is a huge step backwards for Colorado gun owners.
Concealed carry is another issue that has concerned Colorado gun owners, but when Gov. Bill "Gun Control" Owens told lawmakers that he didn’t want to see a CCW bill after the Columbine incident, you killed your own bill.
You even admit in your response to Mr. Pratt that "The only reason [No Safety Zones] was added to my concealed carry bill was because the Governor said he would veto it if I didn't."
Apparently, when it is all said and done, Gov. Owens has the final say when it comes to your principles.
In 1994, 1996 and 1998, you signed a pledge with Gun Owners of America to support a Vermont law (copy enclosed, in case you forgot), yet in 1998 you voted against it. Last year, you opposed SB156 (the best concealed carry bill ever offered in Colorado) and made sure it did not make it through the House, stating that you knew the Governor wouldn’t sign it. It has become clear, in light of Gov. Owens’ harsh left-hand turn, that you were protecting the wrong interests. Rather than play political games, it would have made more sense to get behind the concealed carry bill in front of you and stand on principle.
In summary, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners’ message (and I’m sure Gun Owners of America’s) is very simple: NO GUN CONTROL. Anything even remotely resembling anti-gun legislation will be viewed in the worst possible light, and those responsible held accountable.
We are not interested in cutting any backroom deals to make gun control more palatable, nor to find ways to appease the liberal press with gun control dressed up in another costume.
You may be able to redeem yourself in gun owners’ eyes by apologizing for failing to support a more lenient concealed carry bill and for cutting backroom deals on our gun rights, and publicly oppose every Governor Owens gun control proposal.
When you wish to discuss ways to kill all of the gun control bills being proposed by both Democrats and Republicans, feel free to contact us.
cc: Rocky Mountain Gun Owners members
Signed 1996 Gun Rights pledge