Wray, Colorado Police Chief Issuing Concealed Carry Permits Statewide

Tuesday, Jan. 6, 1998 -- A Colorado law enforcement officer has stepped up to the plate, and begun issuing concealed permits to any Colorado resident.

Chief Bowman first law enforcement official to issue permits statewide
Wray Police Chief Mark Bowman has decided to issue permits to Colorado residents who pay $100 for the first year (renewals are $25) or $150 for couples. The 4 page application requires all the information you might expect from a permit system, and puts the applicant through a Criminal Background check.

State law (18-12-105.1) makes this permit valid statewide (check out our web site for more info).

There are training requirements, but they are minimal. Hunter Safety training, military or law enforcement training, or private handgun training is needed.

If you want a permit, call the Wray Police Department at (970) 332-4802 and request your concealed carry permit application. They will send you the application and a fingerprint card.

Wray Police Department staff report that they receive 30 - 80 application requests a day, and expect it to increase.

Police Chief's action pressures Chlouber, legislature to give us a real Concealed Carry Bill
The Colorado General Assembly begins its 120-day session tomorrow, and though the Legislature has largely the same members as last year's session (as well as the same anti-gun Governor), insiders expect these new permits issued by Wray to be another driving force to pass a strong concealed carry bill.

Last year, Sen. Ken Chlouber (R - Leadville) introduced a weak concealed carry bill which eventually was vetoed by Gov. Romer. In the process of passing that bill, Chlouber and easily compromised institutional gun lobbies struck a deal with our arch-enemy, Sen. Dottie Wham (R - Denver), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That deal added "criminal safezones" to the bill, which effectively made the permit worthless (When the city of Denver outlawed permit holders from carrying in city streets, sidewalks, parks, and other properties, a permit had little meaning). Only through your efforts, by postcards, phonecalls, and petitions, did Chlouber and other "pro-gun" politicians remove those offensive provisions.

When the bill reached the House, the bill still was the most expensive permit in the country, had no provision to allow citizens to carry in their car without a permit, had state-mandated training (as opposed to the safer voluntary training, determined by each individual) and a centalized database of permit holders that could be used to track gun owners.

Chlouber and House Sponsor Larry Schwarz (who proceeded to take a job with Governor Romer) opposed all amendments to the bill, including our efforts to turn it into a Vermont-style law (no permit needed for law-abiding citizens). The vote on the amendments to clean up this disastrous bill failed, but served as a good litmus test to determine whether politicians were truly pro-gun, or merely trying to use gun owners for their own political ambitions (see our web page or newsletter for those votes).

This year, the danger is that some policitians may push hard to pass a statewide law which shuts down the ability of local police departments to issue permits statewide. Wray's rather lenient permits now set the standard, and gun owners should demand nothing more restrictive from the legislature.

1997 Colorado General Assembly Convenes: Concealed Carry Still a Gamble

Friday, January 10, 1997 -- The 120-day session of the Colorado legislature convened on Wednesday, with Republicans still firmly in charge.

The Colorado House saw no net change: Republicans have 41 seats to the Democrats 24 seats. The Senate gained 1 seat for Republicans, increasing their majority to 20-15.

As the papers have reported, the Senate has shifted slightly to the right. Passing a concealed carry law, however, will still be difficult. Expect the action to come in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Problem

Senate President Tom Norton (R-Greeley) has assigned all concealed carry bills to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they have died for the last 3 years. The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is Dottie Wham (R-Denver), one of the Senate's most liberal Republicans and ally of anti-gun Denver Police Chief Michaud. Wham, along with Senator Sally Hopper (R-Golden), is likely to vote with Democrats if any concealed carry bill actually gives citizens the right to self defense. Even one Republican defection will kill the bill (a 4-4 tie kills a bill).

Senate Judiciary Committee Members

    Dottie Wham, Chairman (R-Denver) Anti-gun

    Dick Mutzebaugh, Vice (R-H. Ranch) Pro-gun

    Ken Arnold (R-Westminster) Pro-gun

    Gigi Dennis (R-Pueblo) Pro-gun

    Sally Hopper (R-Golden) Anti-gun

    Ed Perlmutter (D-Wheat Ridge) Anti-gun

    Dorothy Rupert (D-Boulder) Anti-gun

    Bill Thiebaut (R-Pueblo) Anti-gun

The Solution

Call Senate President Tom Norton's office immediately at (303) 866-3342 and ask him to assign any Concealed Carry Bills to the State Affairs Committee, where they at least have a chance to pass. Please be polite and courteous, but let him know that gun owners played an important role in returning Republicans to leadership.

Bill Status

As of 10:00 AM Thursday, only two firearms-related bills have been introduced, which will be detailed in a later fax. Sen. Ken Chlouber (R-Leadville) is expected to introduce his concealed carry bill by mid next week. 

1997 Chlouber introduces Concealed Carry, but may compromise

Wednesday, January 15, 1997 -- State Senator Ken Chlouber (R-Leadville) introduced his bill to grant concealed carry permits, but already showed public signs he may compromise on key provisions.

The Bill

Senate Bill 96 leaves issuing authority with Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police and establishes reasons for denying the permits. A three year concealed handgun permit will be granted to U.S. citizens who are 21 years of age or older; have completed training (see below); have not been convicted of a felony; have not been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for felony-type offenses; have no restraining order in place; have no legal history of using drugs or habitually using alcohol (such as two driving under the influence revocations); is not taking medication for one of five major mental illness'; and several other circumstances.

The Good Provisions

First, this bill legalizes a long-assumed right of Coloradans; the practice of carrying in your own vehicle. Current law only allows this if you are "traveling," which the courts have ruled as an overnight stay. Chlouber's bill would make loaded and chambered handguns (chambered rifles and shotguns fall under hunting restrictions) in vehicles legal, a major step forward.

Next, the bill adds no restrictions for the carrying of concealed weapons. In years past, "Safezones" were added, making a permit holder navigate a labyrinth of legal hotspots.

SB96 also currently has no language to allow municipalities to nullify permits within its jurisdiction. The bill does not have a "compelling need" and standardizes applications throughout the state, avoiding forms that require an applicant to list his weapons and their serial numbers, made popular by Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan. The permit are not gun specific.

Finally, the training requirements are set low, including "...ANY NRA HANDGUN SAFETY OR TRAINING CLASS..." or any class "...CONDUCTED BY A STATE CERTIFIED OR NRA CERTIFIED FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR."

The Bad News

Senate President Tom Norton again assigned SB96 to the Judiciary Committee, where it will face a hostile crowd. Few expect the bill to emerge from the committee without major changes.

Even worse, Sen. Chlouber is showing signs that he is willing to compromise on the bill. Tuesday's Denver Post said Chlouber is "...willing to compromise to get it passed." It also quotes Sen. Chlouber as saying "I'm trying to get everybody's support, even the anti-gun people."

Tony Lombard of the Denver Police Department said they will demand applicants show a "compelling need" to carry a concealed handgun, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dottie Wham (R-Denver) will likely follow their wishes. Stay tuned for more action.

New Web Site To better keep you informed, RMGO has a web site. It has up-to-the-minute information on Colorado legislative battles, including concealed carry, posted by RMGO's State Capitol lobbyist. Check us out at http://home.mho.net/RMGO. (RMGO is now at http://www.RMGO.org)

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