Concealed Carry bill to be heard on Wednesday; Compromise effort likely
Thursday, Feb. 6 1997 -- Senate Bill 96, State Senator Ken Chlouber's (R-Leadville) newest Concealed Carry bill, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 12 at 1:30 pm in Room 356.
The Good News
Senate Bill 96 is a relatively good bill. It leaves issuing authority in the Sheriff's hands, but would force them to issue under most circumstances. As compared to other bills, it most closely resembles the 1994 bill by then-State Representative Drew Clark, which died on the House floor.
The bill has no "compelling need" requirement, and no "safezones" where permit holders cannot carry (except for those areas prohibited by federal law). It's a three year permit, and has minimal training requirements.
The Bad News
First, the bill is in the worst committee possible, thanks to Senate President Tom Norton (R-Greeley). The Senate Judiciary Committee consists of 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats, but Chairman Senator Dottie Wham (R-Denver) and Sen. Sally Hopper (R-Golden) both have a long history of voting against gun rights.
Worst of all, Sen. Chlouber is showing signs that he is willing to compromise on the bill. The 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."
The strategy to pass a bad bill, which we can then change in later years, is disastrous. That strategy would send many of our army home (right now, our numbers and passion are our biggest asset) because it would appear that the fight is over. The anti-gunners would like nothing better than to have a bad bill pass -- with "safezones," extensive training requirements and other unacceptable provisions -- to keep us quiet, and to take the pressure off. Passing a bad concealed carry bill would only give cover to anti-gun politicians, and Gov. Romer would certainly veto the bill.
Our biggest enemy is a compromise generated from a smoke-filled room.
What You Can Do
Contact State Sen. Ken Chlouber today (303-866-4866) and urge him not to compromise with the anti-gunners' demands. Tell him (or his voice mail) that a compromise will just give our enemies cover, since we cannot get a good law with Romer in the Governor's seat. Please be polite and courteous, but let him know that gun owners will not tolerate a compromise on this crucial issue.
Concealed Carry passes Senate Judiciary;
Chlouber says "The pro-gunners are not going to be happy with this bill."
In an effort to compromise with legendary anti-gunner Sen. Dottie Wham, SB96 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a vote of 5-3.
Contrary to today's newspaper headlines, this bill is not a step forward, but a strategic nightmare for Second Amendment forces.
Chlouber and Wham's deal gives municipalities the ability to create "criminal safezones" where permit holders could not carry. Instead, permit holders would be arrested in areas where city councils bar concealed weapons, such as parks, sidewalks, streets, and just about any other innovative definition the gun grabbers will invent to make certain your permit is worthless.
Rather than simplifying, this law would make a jigsaw puzzle of legal and illegal areas for permit holders. Your trip through an area like metro Denver would best be charted out, winding your way through prohibited areas like a cowardly criminal, in order to avoid breaking the law.
Don't fall for the Affirmative Defense argument
These "criminal safezones" aren't areas where concealed weapons are banned outright; instead, permit holders can use the affirmative defense argument, again another compromise. Permit holders are currently subject to the affirmative defense pitfall, and we shouldn't accept it in a bill that is supposed to fix things.
In practical terms, you go through government-mandated training, pay your application fee, endure an extensive criminal background investigation that includes being fingerprinted, only to find that when you carry your handgun through a Westminster park you can be arrested and thrown in jail, where you must post bond and hire an attorney.
Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mutzebaugh said the affirmative defense argument would, after your arrest, force you to "...explain why you are carrying it to the judge and show reason," after which he could fine you if he was not convinced by your explanation.
Wham threatened pro-gun forces, saying she "...will once again lead the charge to kill this bill" if we change her compromise.
Pleasure of the Sheriff or Chief
Yesterday the committee gave the Sheriff or Chief of Police broad power to deny issuing the permit on the basis of information gathered during the background investigation. Those of you who live in areas with rabid anti-gun Sheriffs, like Larimer County, can be sure that this clause will be used as a catch-all reason to deny permits.
Still time to change the bill
SB96 now goes to the Senate Appropriations committee, where it will certainly be voted to the Senate floor. Call your Senator at (303) 866-4866 and ask him/her to support removing the anti-gun "criminal safezones" provisions.
Concealed Carry to be heard on Senate floor this week;
Texas CCW battle shows flaw in "small step" strategy
Wednesday, March 12, 1997 -- After getting approval from the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Bill 96, Chlouber's mangled Concealed Carry measure, is heading to the Senate floor, where it will be heard this week.
The danger to gun owners is that this bill may pass in its current form, as amended by anti-gun Senator Dottie Wham.
The Anti-Gun "Wham Provisions"
In an insider deal (which reportedly was instigated by a "pro-gun" organization), Sen. Wham amended SB96 to make certain that law-abiding citizens with permits couldn't use them where they are most needed.
The "Wham Provisions" allow municipalities the ability to create "criminal safezones" where permit holders could not carry. Instead, permit holders would be arrested in areas where city councils bar concealed weapons, such as parks, sidewalks, streets, and just about any other innovative definition the gun grabbers will invent to make certain your permit is worthless.
This provision, along with others, make this bill a large step backwards for gun owners.
Texas Concealed Carry Reform dead, thanks to bad strategy
Texas passed a much-hailed concealed carry bill in 1995 that had dozens of holes, most notably a long laundry list of areas where permittees could not carry. Of course, some gun groups told us, as they are now telling us in Colorado, that we should simply get the law, and clean it up later. This strategy, taking "small steps," has proven to be a disaster.
Earlier this week, as Texas tried to clean up their concealed carry law, the reform effort was stopped in its tracks.
Who killed the Texas concealed carry reform bill? NRA "A+" rated Republican State Senator Flo Shapiro, a supposed "pro-gun" lawmaker. She knew that, by voting for a "small step" bill in 1995, she could use her position as cover to kill any reforms and avoid difficult recorded votes on the floor of the Texas Senate. We can't let this disaster happen in Colorado.
Never underestimate a politicians' drive to avoid tough votes
The Texas scenario is now being played out in Colorado. Politicians, who have opposed any real efforts at personal protection freedom, are now voting for this anti-freedom bill.
The reason this bill, with the Wham Provisions, is gathering support: Politicians can vote for this bill and take the heat off, then claim they are pro-gun in the next election without every really solving anything.
If this bill passes, any future attempts at reforming concealed carry will be killed.
Ask your Senator to vote for real freedom
SB96 may be heard on the Senate floor this Friday. Call your Senator at (303) 866-4866 and ask him/her to support removing the anti-gun "Wham Provisions."