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.

The Compromise

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."

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.

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