Colorado Democrats Send Concealed Carry Training Bill to Governor

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Colorado Democrats continued their assault on the right to keep and bear arms on Monday, with the state Senate approving two bills aimed directly at lawful gun owners. 


House Bill 1348 was approved on a 21-13 vote, but because the Senate amended it it needs to go back to the House for a concurrence vote be sent to a conference committee where lawmakers from both chambers will work on a compromise bill. As approved by the Senate, the bill requires gun owners to store their firearms in a locked, hard-sided container if they leave them in a vehicle. 

The Senate approved an amendment that would increase the penalties for theft of a firearm, which frankly, should have been the focus of the bill in the first place. But as we've seen with other bills this year, House Democrats are all in favor of adopting new laws but they're not big fans of punishment, and Rep. Elizabeth Velasco told the Denver Post that the bill will probably be sent to a negotiating committee to "strip out the penalties." 

While HB 1348 is being tweaked, the Senate sent HB 1174 to Gov. Jared Polis after approving the bill on a 20-14 vote. This bill, if signed, is going to make it more of a hassle for many Coloradans to obtain a concealed carry license


Currently, a person can obtain a permit from the local sheriff after completing a firearms training course, which includes "live-fire" exercises for 20 rounds, and submitting an ID and fingerprints and a background check. The permit is good for five years.

Under HB 1174, for first time permits, the applicant must take an 8-hour, in-person course, with a "live-fire" shooting exercise of 50 rounds. The course must also include instruction on safe storage, information on state and federal laws on how to report stolen weapons, use of deadly force and self-defense, and conflict resolution. 

A student must achieve a minimum score of 75% on the live-fire exercise and a passing score of at least 80 on the written exam.

This is a solution in search of a problem. Nobody can point to major issues with concealed carry licensees in Colorado, but Democrats are intent on raising the bar to obtain a carry license regardless. I can only assume they think Colorado has too many people carrying guns at the moment. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, about 15 percent of the state's adult population is licensed to carry a firearm, but by making the licensing process more expensive and time-consuming, they'll likely be able to bring those numbers down, at least slightly. 


Violent crime has been soaring in recent years in Colorado, but concealed carry licensees aren't to blame. With Colorado Democrats loathe to increase the penalties for committing both non-violent and violent crimes, however, lawful gun owners are a much more inviting target for many of these legislators. The net result, at least if Polis signs HB 1174 into law, will be fewer folks exercising their right to bear arms in self-defense, and an even more emboldened class of criminals who'll be operating with impunity; unafraid of the legal consequences of their actions and unconcerned that their victim might have a gun of their own. 


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