Englewood City Council proposes gun control;
Concealed Carry on Senate floor Monday morning
Sunday, March 16, 1997 -- In a move to increase government size and regulation, staff for the Englewood City Council has recommended placing broad new controls on gun sales. The measure will be debated Monday, March 17 at 7:30 pm in Englewood.
New local BATF
The Englewood City Council will consider a measure to establish a new license for the sale of weapons. Attempting to form their own local BATF, the city of Englewood would require a license for weapon sales (possibly private sales), a new method of recordkeeping, and a fingerprint affixed to the bill of sale for each weapon sold.
Any shop that sells or pawns firearms in the city of Englewood would be driven out of business, benefiting only the stores just outside city limits and lowering sales tax revenues for Englewood. The next logical step would be banning the sale of hunting licenses.
Most of Englewood Gun Control measure is redundant
Since the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms already requires a form of record keeping for weapons dealers, who are already federally licensed, this measure would only give gun stores another sea of paperwork to navigate. Weapon sales to minors and convicted felons are currently prohibited in state and federal law, but it does prohibit the sale of weapons on consignment.
This license will only be issued to those who pay a fee and submit to a background investigation. And, if this gun control is not burdensome enough, it allows the "licensing officer" to require additional reports from the licensed dealer. Even more ominous is the requirement to report all firearms sales to local law enforcement on a weekly basis.
Private sales banned without a license
Since no transaction for a weapon could be conducted without this new license, selling your shotgun to your neighbor would also be illegal, unless you bought a license, fingerprinted your neighbor, and went through a maze of local regulations.
The measure itself is confused about who must obtain the license. Section 5-25-2 states "A weapons dealer licensed by the federal government making only sales of firearms is exempt from this license." Is there a gun shop in the entire state that sells only firearms, and not magazines, ammunition, holsters, or dozens of related items?
The measure was proposed to "ensure that persons selling weapons are licensed to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of Englewood." What about the pledge to protect the U.S. Constitution?
Tell Englewood City Council to read the U.S. Constitution
Our only friend on the city council may be District III member Lauri Clapp, who has already stated her opposition to this power grab and was the first to ring the alarm about this measure. Call the Mayor of Englewood at 761-3686, and demand he fire the staff member, Frank Gryglewicz, who recommended this sweeping new attack on our Second Amendment rights, and that he also vote to scrap this draconian bill.
Concealed Carry to be heard on Senate floor Monday morning
Your pressure, in the form of phonecalls and postcards, has forced Concealed Carry Bill sponsor Ken Chlouber to offer an amendment to SB96 to remove Dottie Wham's "Criminal Safezones."
But the vote hasn't happened yet. Make certain to call your Senator at (303) 866-4866 and tell him/her that SB96 is not worth debating unless they remove Wham's "criminal safezones" completely from the bill.
Concealed Carry passes the Senate;
Your pressure removes "Wham Provisions"
Tuesday, March 18, 1997 -- Senate Bill 96 passed the Colorado Senate today on a mostly party-line vote of 20-15. Sen. Sally Hopper (R-Golden) was the sole Republican to oppose the measure, and Sen. Jim Rizzuto (D-Swink) the lone Democrat to vote for the bill.
Wham provisions neutralized
Thanks to your phonecalls and postcards, Sen. Ken Chlouber and Sen. Dottie Wham removed language to create "criminal safezones" where an affirmative defense must be used by a permit holder. This would have allowed law enforcement to harass permit holders in areas where a city council prohibited concealed carry.
This provision was supported by Chlouber in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he pledged to join Sen. Wham in killing the bill if her provisions did not stay on the bill.
But after a landslide of pressure, Chlouber agreed to change the Judiciary Committee amendment. Instead of an affirmative defense, it would not be an offense for a permit holder to carry in any area in Colorado, neutralizing any municipally created "criminal safezones."
This bill can get better
SB96 still has a number of problems. It still requires applicants to be fingerprinted like common criminals, the fee is too high ($125 for a three-year permit) and it still has government-mandated training.
The Senate also added in language to direct the Attorney General's office to design the concealed carry exam, which would test the applicants knowledge of the legal use of deadly force. If a strongly anti-gun Attorney General is elected, what is to stop them from creating an exam that could only be passed by a Harvard Law School graduate?
Private, Voluntary Training vs. Government Certification and Control
We all want every gun owner to be trained in safety as well as proficiency, and gun owner's zeal for these goals is obvious. The number of firearms "accidents" has been cut almost in half in the last few decades without government involvement and control. RMGO, along with other gun organizations, would be happy to offer a guide to training facilities and safety instructors, without a directive from Big Brother.
The U.S. Constitution recognizes the right to KEEP and BEAR arms. There is no training required in the 2nd Amendment. Once government-controlled mandatory training is forced upon the right to bear arms, can government-controlled mandatory training for the right to keep arms be far behind? The two go together.
There is no current training requirement for open carry in Colorado, so why do we need one for concealed carry? Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Vermont do not require government-mandated training. Why are the citizens of Colorado any less responsible?
Stay tuned for more developments.
If you would like add a friend to our fax list, be removed from the list or change your fax number, you may either call us at (303) 606-0476 or fax your request to (303) 680-8551.
Concealed Carry passes House Committee
Thursday, March 27, 1997 -- Senate Bill 96 was passed this morning by the House State Affairs Committee, and is now sent on to the House Appropriations for approval before heading to the House floor.
Only by taking a tough position can we get a good bill
While some prefer to give away the farm from the beginning, we have proven that by demanding a real bill that recognizes our right to personal protection, we can send the anti-gun zealots (like Sen. Wham) scrambling for cover. Wham pledged to kill the bill if her "criminal safezones" were removed, but she backed off after seeing the landslide against her position. The lesson: the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Bad Provisions in this bill
1. Sen. Wham removed the ability to carry in a car without a permit, (current law only allows you to carry in your car if you are "traveling," which is defined as an overnight stay) but we all know that this is the most used form of concealed carry. We don't need Wham's vote to pass the Senate, so why let her make this bill worse?
2. The fee is too high. Gun owners already pay huge taxes when they purchase a weapon, and don't need to fatten up police departments with excessive permit fees. Some states that do a background check charge as little as $8 a year, instead of this bill's fee of $125 for three years (the applicant must pay the fingerprinting fee himself, as well). Sheriffs and chiefs of police work for us, so we don't need to bribe them to support this bill.
3. Government-mandated training is a step in the wrong direction. Let's follow the lead of Vermont, New Hampshire, and other states that let the individual decide what kind of training they need.
The solution to these problems: The Vermont Law
An amendment will be offered on the House floor to change SB96 into a "Vermont Law." This would allow all law-abiding citizens to carry concealed without approval from Big Brother and without entering your name and fingerprints into a statewide database.
Call your Representative today at (303) 866-2904, and ask him/her to support the "Vermont Law."
This amendment was offered in 1996 and was short of the votes needed to pass. The Vermont Law is the true litmus test to see who is really with us and who will bail on us when the going gets tough.
Don't let legislators tell you that forcing a recorded vote on "Vermont" will kill the bill: it didn't in 1996 and won't today. This is their way of getting out of a tough recorded vote, which most politicians hate. Procedure is not a reason to vote against principle.