Wednesday, March 19, 2003

That bastion of unbiased, accurate reporting, The Rocky Mountain News, has announced in an article that gun rights in Colorado have expanded. In typical Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post fashion, the article consisted of a statement & comments from one side of the issue. The gist of it was that Gov. Owens signed two bills into law which 'expanded' gun rights, the Governor explained why he signed them into law, & Tom Mauser wasn't happy because this will inevitably lead to more violence. & yes, in case you're wondering Columbine was mentioned twice.

Leaving the impeccable journalism aside, what happened is the Governor signed into law two bills that the legislature had passed: one standardizing a shall issue concealed carry permit system, & the other 'taking away' some 'local control' over rights pertaining to firearms.

The pre-emption law is a good first step, but it still leaves cities & counties too much latitude. To be optimistic though, not nearly as much as they had before. The government of Denver is unhappy about it & has vowed to fight it tooth & nail.

The other bill is merely a standardization of shall issue concealed carry permit laws across the state. I really do not see what the anti-gun groups are getting upset about. This new CCW law is in most ways the same or worse than the old system we had. RMGO provides an overview of the new CCW law & how it differs from the old one. If you'll note only 3 things are more lenient than the old law: the maximum time to issue or deny a permit; legalized concealed carry in a vehicle w/o a permit; & reciprocity to states that recognize a Colorado CCW.
Having a 90 day time limit is not something I see as an improvement. To be honest I am not positive what the old time limit was, but I seem to remember it was 30 or 45 days. I could be mistaken.
Reciprocity to other states is something the old system lacked.
Legalized concealed carry in a vehicle w/o a permit is already a part of state law, but one which the courts have interpretated into being almost ineffective.

The pre-emption law is good news, if it's seen as a first step. The CCW law however is a compromise in the finest NRA traditions & one which we could have lived without.
And to be completely fair, even if a genuinely better CCW permit bill would have became law, I would still be dissatisfied. Any law that says you must have a permit, pay a fee, & beg for governmental permission in order to exercise a Right is contradictory to the Right itself. For a more detailed look into my hardcore views on Rights, please browse the 'Publicola's Previous Blogs by Category' section on the left.

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