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Thread: Quick Review of Preemption in Colorado

  1. #1
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quick Review of Preemption in Colorado

    Howdy Folks!
    When reviewing the law regarding preemption, we must wonder about the nemesis of the open carrier... Denver!
    Before I give my particular perspective on the matter, let's look at the Colorado Revised Statute itself:
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    29-11.7-101. Legislative declaration.

    (1) The general assembly hereby finds that:

    (a) Section 3 of article II of the state constitution, the article referred to as the
    state bill of rights, declares that all persons have certain inalienable rights, which
    include the right to defend their lives and liberties;

    (b) Section 13 of article II of the state constitution protects the fundamental
    right of a person to keep and bear arms and implements section 3 of
    article II of the state constitution;

    (c) The general assembly recognizes a duty to protect and defend the
    fundamental civil rights set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (1);

    (d) There exists a widespread inconsistency among jurisdictions within the state
    with regard to firearms regulations;

    (e) This inconsistency among local government laws regulating lawful firearm
    possession and ownership has extraterritorial impact on state citizens and the
    general public by subjecting them to criminal and civil penalties in some
    jurisdictions for conduct wholly lawful in other jurisdictions;

    (f) Inconsistency among local governments of laws regulating the possession and
    ownership of firearms results in persons being treated differently under the law
    solely on the basis of where they reside, and a person's residence in a particular
    county or city or city and county is not a rational classification when it is the basis
    for denial of equal treatment under the law;

    (g) This inconsistency places citizens in the position of not knowing when they
    may be violating the local laws and therefore being unable to avoid violating the
    law and becoming subject to criminal and other penalties.

    (2) Based on the findings specified in subsection (1) of this section, the general
    assembly concludes that:

    (a) The regulation of firearms is a matter of statewide concern;

    (b) It is necessary to provide statewide laws concerning the possession and
    ownership of a firearm to ensure that law-abiding persons are not unfairly placed
    in the position of unknowingly committing crimes involving firearms.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Loooking at 1:g above, the most compelling inconsistency, considering the borders of Denver are difficult to discern, and tendrils of their jurisdiction reach out all over the area, it is nearly impossible to know when you may be within Denver's borders. It places an unnecessary burden upon the law abiding citizen to pore over maps and study the most current Atlas to determine with some degree of certainty where such borders exist. In some locations, a particular tendril of Denver may extend into other jurisdictions, be surrounded by another jurisdiction, and very narrow from border to border. While passing through such narrow section of Denver's territory, it may be that a law abiding citizen may inadvertantly violate Denver's laws. As in 2:b above, they would therefore be unfairly placed in a position of unknowingly committing a crime involving a firearm because of Denver's exception from the preemption law per the Meiers decision.

    Denver's claim for exception was based (in the Meiers decision) primarly on the urban nature of Denver. However, the majority of Denver's territory is no different than any other jurisdiction in the state with the exception of the downtown area (The Golden Triangle) and the government complex bordering Colfax Avenue. The majority of Denver is comprised of neighborhoods and local businesses that are no different than Colorado Springs, Loveland, Estes Park or Fort Collins, to name a few.

    It is my personal opinion that the burden placed upon the average citizen is unfair and inappropriate. Since Denver's claim for exemption was based on the urban nature of Denver, the urban portion of concern being primarily the downtown and government sections of the city, preemption language under the Colorado Revised Statute ought reasonably apply to all of Denver with the exception of that section of Denver that is wholly unique in Colorado. (i.e., the Golden Triangle and Government complex areas.)

    It would seem reasonable for the balance of Denver to fall under compliance with state law as stipulated in this Colorado Revised Statute, and the burden placed on Denver to post signage on all thoroughfares leading into the downtown area and government complex only. This removes the burden from the shoulders of the law abiding citizen to keep track of Denver's territory, and places the onus where it rightly belongs, on the city and county of Denver to post specific areas where their exception might be reasonably applied per the Meiers decision.

    That's my humble little opinion. I'd be interested in knowing what others think.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Regular Member PFC HALE's Avatar
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    this is partly why i will have a hard time OC'ing as i do a lot of my activities within these borders that look like a broken puzzle. i looked at the county border on google maps this morning and the only was to legally traverse the metro area is by taking 76 to 70 to 470 but even that i am still breaking the law as there is a small section of I70 that crosses through denver county. so basically to head south for me i either have to go far east or far wast to avoid this or conceal while i go through I25 direct south and out of denver.

    i still dont understand how different governments can trump other higher government laws and get away with it?

    serious PITA for me. plus i work downtown although i cant carry in any way on work property...

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    I agree, really is a pain in the arse dealing with these broken borders and a bit worrisome wondering if I'm going to accidentally stray into their borders OC'ing.

    I'm about to venture into Denver and visit Bass Pro and get me a new camping chair, I've got a gift card from last Xmas that I haven't used yet. I love Bass Pro, but why did they have to build there??? Sadly, I gotta cover up. Been a while since I've CC'ed. I also wonder about their sign that states "all firearms must be checked in at customer service"? This doesn't apply to CC, am I correct?

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    That's my humble little opinion. I'd be interested in knowing what others think.
    I think your opinion is well-researched, chock full of common sense, and well-written. I also think this should have been the opinion of the Colorado State Supreme Court.

    Sadly, judges are no long applying the law, but have instead devolved into twisting the law they've sworn to uphold as they play party politics. Personally, I believe any judge who does that should be removed from the bench without delay, and with extreme prejudice.

    But I must be holding back, as everyone's monitors aren't bursting into flames...
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member PikesPeakMtnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keens View Post
    I agree, really is a pain in the arse dealing with these broken borders and a bit worrisome wondering if I'm going to accidentally stray into their borders OC'ing.

    I'm about to venture into Denver and visit Bass Pro and get me a new camping chair, I've got a gift card from last Xmas that I haven't used yet. I love Bass Pro, but why did they have to build there??? Sadly, I gotta cover up. Been a while since I've CC'ed. I also wonder about their sign that states "all firearms must be checked in at customer service"? This doesn't apply to CC, am I correct?
    From everything I've heard this rule only applies if you're bring it in for service, but doesn't apply for everyday carry.
    One day your life is going to flash before your eyes, make it worth watching.

  6. #6
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    this is partly why i will have a hard time OC'ing as i do a lot of my activities within these borders that look like a broken puzzle. i looked at the county border on google maps this morning and the only was to legally traverse the metro area is by taking 76 to 70 to 470 but even that i am still breaking the law as there is a small section of I70 that crosses through denver county. so basically to head south for me i either have to go far east or far wast to avoid this or conceal while i go through I25 direct south and out of denver.

    i still dont understand how different governments can trump other higher government laws and get away with it?

    serious PITA for me. plus i work downtown although i cant carry in any way on work property...
    ----------------------
    Howdy Pard!
    I think you maybe have the wrong idea about car carry. You can carry in your car, open or concealed, both without a permit, and Denver's jurisdiction has nothing to do with it. You don't need to drive all around to avoid Denver, but pass through as you would find most convenient. But rather than heed any advice from me, let's examine what the law says about it:
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    C.R.S. (Colorado Revised Statute) 18-12-204

    (3) (a) A person who may lawfully possess a handgun may carry a handgun under the following circumstances without obtaining a permit and the handgun shall not be considered concealed:

    (I) The handgun is in the possession of a person who is in a private automobile or in some other private means of conveyance and who carries the handgun for a legal use, including self-defense; or

    (II) The handgun is in the possession of a person who is legally engaged in hunting activities within the state.

    (b) The provisions of this subsection (3) shall not be construed to authorize the carrying of a handgun in violation of the provisions of section 18-12-105 or 18-12-105.5.

    33-6-125. Possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

    It is unlawful to possess any firearm, other than a pistol or revolver, in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber of such firearm is unloaded. For the purposes of this section, a “muzzle-loader” shall be considered unloaded if it is not primed, and, for such purpose, “primed” means having a percussion cap on the nipple or flint in the striker and powder in the flash pan.
    -----------------------------
    Note that the law requires that the chamber be unloaded, except for a pistol or revolver.
    You can have one in the tube and travel where you wish, including the jurisdiction of Denver, without breaking their law. Why?
    Because it is a PRIVATE means of conveyance. It is private property, just like your home is private property.
    You cannot be forbidden to carry a firearm in your home, and by extension, cannot be forbidden to carry a firearm in your car either.

    Then we have the Meyers Decision:
    which states:
    "Given the State's detailed regulatory scheme for concealed carry of handguns, I find and conclude that the portion of DRMC 38-117(f)(2) which reads "while traveling into or through the city to or from another jurisdiction, regardless of the number of times the person stops in the city or the other jurisdiction" is in conflict with state law and is preempted by state law. Further, I find that DRMC §38-11 8(a)(1) is in conflict with state law where it includes the phrase "when there is a direct and immediate threat thereto." In all other respects, the City's ordinances, as amended, do not conflict with state law in this area and may coexist with state law."

    Finally, let us consider this from the law:
    18-12-105. Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon - unlawful possession of weapons.
    (2) It shall not be an offense if the defendant was:
    (a) A person in his or her own dwelling or place of business or on property owned or under his or her control at the time of the act of carrying; or
    (b) A person in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance who carries a weapon for lawful protection of such person's or another's person or property while traveling;

    It just can't get said by such folks with lofty credentials who speak in a language unlike the common folk to make any plainer.
    Your car is a private means of conveyance. You can carry a weapon for your own lawful protection and defense, and it ain't an offense.

    So long as you are in your own car, you are on your own property.
    And if they don't much care for that, tough toenails!

    But please bear in mind, I ain't an attorney.
    Nevertheless, I ain't heard of anybody being busted for illegal weapons while in their own car!

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  7. #7
    Regular Member PFC HALE's Avatar
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    MT, i didnt clarify my meaning lol, sorry sometimes i assume people can read my mind. my fault. I meant to say its a PITA as i ride motorcycle much of the time. i guess i will just have to CC while im in the PRoD.

  8. #8
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    MT, i didnt clarify my meaning lol, sorry sometimes i assume people can read my mind. my fault. I meant to say its a PITA as i ride motorcycle much of the time. i guess i will just have to CC while im in the PRoD.
    Howdy Pard!
    Hmmmmm. That might make just a wee bit of difference.
    Unfortunately, I dont know much about motorcycle carry, but we do have a member or two that should be better equipped to answer questions that relate to that.
    JamesB,. you got your ears on?

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  9. #9
    Regular Member PFC HALE's Avatar
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    well not much to much to worry bout, if im on the bike ill most likely be CC'ing. but it would be nice to have both options in the PRoD.

  10. #10
    Regular Member JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    MT, i didnt clarify my meaning lol, sorry sometimes i assume people can read my mind. my fault. I meant to say its a PITA as i ride motorcycle much of the time. i guess i will just have to CC while im in the PRoD.
    My motorcycle is still a vehicle. While I am "on" it, I am "in" my vehicle.

    I've been charged on this. I've taken it to court, and won.

    Bike is just like car.

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