Colorado Senate News
29 January 2007
Votes on two bills Monday in separate Senate committees suggest the General Assembly is moving away from support for the right to arms, observers said.
Senate Bill 69, authored by Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, would have shut down the statewide handgun permits database, which sunsets July 1. The bill died on a 3-2 party-line tally in the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
Also on Monday, Senate Bill 34, sponsored by Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, passed out of the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote of 4-3. It would eliminate reciprocity for out-of-state concealed-weapons carrying permits concerning nonresidents of Colorado.
“It appears to be a sea-change with the ship heading back to port,” said Darin Goens, a National Rifle Association state liaison, following hearing on Senate Bill 34. “It’s a 180-degree reversal from five or six years ago when groups like Cease Fire Colorado were on the losing end, and now they’re winning.”
Goens added that Democrats are seemingly using “boogy-man tactics” to move toward greater government restriction on law-following gun owners.
“This seems to be the first step of a process in chipping away the lawful protections for gun owners in Colorado,” Goens said.
During his testimony to the committee explaining the SB-34, Morse noted that the bill requires all Coloradans who wish to conceal carry a weapon to obtain a Colorado permit. Current law recognizes permits issued by other states.
“Colorado residents need to meet Colorado law,” Morse said.
Regarding SB-34, Dudley Brown, of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owner’s Association, said the bill could impact the privacy of at-risk women who don’t want to go public with their gun ownership. Colorado’s permits are maintained in a central database that could be compromised.
“Firearms are a great equalizer for women who are victims or potential victims of domestic violence,” he said while voicing opposition to the bill.
Renfroe noted that his SB-69, which would close down the state’s central database, allows lawful citizens their rightful privacy.
“Law abiding citizens who play by the rules are the ones affected by this database,” he said while concluding his introduction of the bill.
Groups who spoke in favor of the measure included the NRA, Rocky Mountain Gun Owner’s Association, Firearms Coalition of Colorado and the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.