Senate backs in-state gun permits for Coloradans
DENVER Coloradans wouldn’t be able to use concealed weapons permits from other states under a bill that won initial approval from the state Senate on Tuesday.Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, said some residents have been applying for permits from other states, sometimes by mail, because they are cheaper or more convenient. Colorado law requires that people apply in person at a sheriff’s office, be fingerprinted and undergo a background check, which costs $152.50. The permit is good for five years.Under the proposal (Senate Bill 34), out-of-state visitors would only be allowed to use a permit issued by their home state, not a third state.Morse, a former police chief in Fountain, said the idea is to potentially stop anyone who shouldn’t have a concealed carry permit, including someone who has a restraining order against them.”We cannot revoke a Florida permit, we can only revoke a Colorado permit,” Morse said.Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, said lawmakers were acting out of “fear” and there was no proof that out-of-state permit holders were posing a real problem.”We should not be about trying to restrict the gun rights of good, solid individuals,” Schultheis told the Senate.Later, Morse acknowledged that Colorado has “minimal oversight” of permits and that many sheriff departments don’t report permit holders accused of committing a crime to the state database because the law doesn’t require it. He said that’s why there aren’t any examples of problem permit holders.The vote was delayed from last week after three Democrats – Sens. Lois Tochtrop, Jim Isgar and Bob Hagedorn – joined with Republicans in gutting the bill, instead voting to allow any state permit to be honored in Colorado. The bill passed Tuesday after two Republicans – Sens. Ken Kester and Jack Taylor – sided with most Democrats and returned to the original version.Morse said there was confusion about what the amendment did to the bill, which he said is backed by the Colorado Sheriffs Association. He said he picked up more support after having more time to explain it to lawmakers.The bill still must pass another vote in the Senate before being sent to the House.
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