GOP Bill Would Allow Concealed Guns Without Permit

DENVER (AP) – People in Colorado wouldn’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon under a bill headed for approval in the Republican-led state House.

The bill doesn’t change laws governing who is allowed to carry a concealed weapon, but the people who do meet the legal requirements would no longer need a county permit.

Many House Democrats objected vigorously to the measure, saying gun owners are unlikely to check whether they qualify to carry a concealed gun and would think anyone who can legally own a firearm could start carrying it concealed.

After a fiery debate, the bill was approved on a voice vote. A final vote on the proposal is required before the measure heads to the Senate, but a handful of House Democrats are planning to side with the GOP on optional concealed-carry permits, making its passage appear certain.

Three other states — Alaska, Arizona and Vermont — allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Wyoming’s House has approved a bill making that state the fourth. But the Colorado Association of Police Chiefs doesn’t want Colorado to become a permit-optional state.

Opponents fear allowing concealed carry without a permit would send the message that Colorado no longer bans certain people, such as those under 21 and those with restraining orders against them, from carrying concealed weapons.

“I don’t want to worry that when my kids go down to the park, there are people with concealed weapons no one knows about. This is a very, very dangerous bill,” said Rep. Claire Levy, a Boulder Democrat.

Another Boulder Democrat, Rep. Deb Gardner, was even graver in her argument.

“Eventually a Colorado policeman will die because a person who shouldn’t have a gun is carrying one concealed,” she said.

Republicans insist fears of widespread mayhem are unfounded. Supporters say criminals are unlikely to follow concealed-weapon permitting rules anyway, and the change simply saves legal gun owners the trouble of getting permits.

“If a bad guy’s going to commit a crime, he’s going to commit a crime. He doesn’t care about some petty offense of not having a permit,” argued Republican Rep. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs, a former prosecutor.

Republicans also argued that more gun-carrying citizens could reduce crime.

“When people carry concealed, it actually, I believe, enhances public security,” Waller argued.

The debate grew tense when two Democratic opponents referenced the shooting earlier this year in Tucson, Ariz., in which 19 people were shot, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Six died. Levy mentioned Arizona’s permit-optional concealed-weapon law.

“Do we want to be in the same position that Arizona was in when that young man shot Rep. Giffords?” Levy asked. A Republican presiding over the debate told Levy to speak only about the Colorado measure.

It’s unclear whether the proposal has a chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Democrats have vowed to keep fighting the permit change.

“People are going to think they have an automatic pass to carry a concealed gun to school or work,” said Democratic Rep. Angela Williams of Denver.

– By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer

Read House Bill 1205

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • Steve

    Criminals with intent to carry a gun will do so whether there is a law or not. Criminals who intend to cause people harm will do so whether it’s with a gun or a sharp stick. I’ve had a concealed permit for 6 years. It will be nice to have one less TAX on my life… Historically, registrations were used for confiscations. I’m in full support of this bill and anything else that doesn’t keep a database. Rights are unalienable. If they can be given by government, they can be taken by government.

    • Cassandra

      you have got to be kidding me that means any one can get a gun which would make this state unsafe. And people who are stupid will get carried away and shoot some one. i hope to god that they don’t pass that bill.

      • Steve

        Sorry Cassanda, afraid that I’m not at all kidding. Furthermore, this legislation has nothing to do with who can or cannot acquire a firearm. People who are stupid will carry out stupid actions regardless of a law… you can’t legislate stupidity. Help me understand your logic because it doesn’t make sense to me. Legislating pre-crime doesn’t stop crime. Also, similar legislation has passed in 4 other states, yet your preconceived notion of being unsafe is not founded in fact.

        As I stated to someone else, open carry is lawful in 43 states. 29 of which don’t require a permit. That means anyone who meets the requirements to lawfully own a handgun can carry it openly. Yet, this has not created a safety pandemic either.

        Perhaps you should consider the logistics rather then personal feelings.

  • Scott

    House Republicans believe that an advantage of this bill is the “hassle” it’ll save people who can legally carry a concealed weapon. This is nuts. If you want to carry a gun in public places with you, God forbid you might have to go through a “hasseling” experience. Essentially, it’s like saying “criminals will carry a gun with them no matter what the law states, so the concealed carry process shouldn’t apply to anyone.” Ludacris.

    • Steve

      I presume you forgot that open carry is lawful and requires no permit. (Except Denver which some how magically avoided the preemption law).

      Do you propose that you should have to ask permission to exercise your 1st Amendment rights? Why should anyone have to ask permission for their 2nd?

  • stan a.

    It’s a start in the right direction.

  • Jayde

    Scott obviously does not know what he is talking about. You can legally carry a sidearm openly in most public places in Colorado. If you actually spent time at the capital and witnessed the testimony during the committee, a simple yet compelling example was given. A demonstration by a woman who simply took on and off her coat while carrying a replica firearm. Easily noting that with the coat off you legal and with the coat on your illegal.
    Scott, just because you put a jacket on to conceal your firearm, now you must pay for a permit and ask to exercise your 2nd amendment right. This is not what the founders of our country intended, nor our state constitution.
    If you don’t wish to protect yourself then by all means don’t carry. Just don’t impose your foolish ideals on those law abiding citizens who wish to protect their families and themselves.
    Myself being from Colorado Springs, know first hand that law abiding citizens can protect themselves and others even with the same ideology as Scott.
    The killings at New Life Church were tragic and incomprehensible, but with with the grace of God and a woman with a concealed weapon, Jeanne Assam stopped what would have been more innocent life robbed by another. This law has been ridicules from the start and it is due time that it be amended.

  • ShadouXarcanuM

    I can see it now. Some crazy guy (who does not qualify to have a gun yet already has one..hmmm) comes wielding into a park and begins to shoot, good thing 12 other people in the park believe that they are qualified to carry a gun ( and since they dont have to go through the “hassle” of getting a permit makes it much easier to just be strapped at all times) and begin to “protect” themselves and also open fire. Our city streets become a gangland of people firing aimlessly (seeing as scared people dont seem to have any logic or rational brain processes) and thousands of innocent bystanders get killed or wounded. It’s ok though, it will just make more money for hospitals, gun shops, and will really help out with population control by killing off the extra people we dont need around here.. really i feel so safe now. :O======0 (thats me vomiting out of sheer disgust of this country’s idea of protection and safety.)

  • Veronica


    Wonderful post! I like this info.

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