Indeed, December sales figures show that background checks in Colorado have nearly tripled in less than twenty years.
And now, if a new bill becomes law, owners could carry gats without bothering to get a permit.
That's the gist of a Senate Bill 16-017, a new measure sponsored by Republican state senator Tim Neville.
The proposal, which sports the clunky title "A bill for an Act Concerning Allowing a Law-Abiding Person to Carry a Concealed Handgun Without a Permit, and, in Connection Therewith, Preserving Current Laws Restricting the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on Certain Property Including School Grounds," is included below. But the summary reads:
The bill allows a person who legally possesses a handgun under state and federal law to carry a concealed handgun in Colorado. A person who carries a concealed handgun under the authority created in the bill has the same carrying rights and is subject to the same limitations that apply to a person who holds a permit to carry a concealed handgun under current law, including the prohibition on the carrying of a concealed handgun on the grounds of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school."
Proposals like this one are grouped under the term "constitutional carry" — meaning the right to carry a weapon is established by the U.S. Constitution without regulatory interference from any state or local body.
And the movement is growing.
The list of constitutional carry states currently includes Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming, although the latter restricts this right to state residents.
As for why permit-free concealed carry is needed in Colorado, Neville pulls out the T-word: terrorism.
"I think especially with the situation that's going on with terrorism in our country and other things, the ability for people to defend themselves without having to get a license and pay tremendous dollars," he tells 7News in a report on view below.
The emphasis placed on not superseding rules against carrying concealed weapons on school grounds is presumably intended to make the proposal more palatable beyond hardcore gun-rights advocates. But that wasn't enough to sway Democrats on the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee. The 3-2 vote moving the measure on to the finance committee broke along party lines.
Still, it's not dead yet. Here's the 7News piece, followed by Senate Bill 16-017.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.