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.

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