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Thread: CO Supreme Court Upholds Denvers Open Carry Ban

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    The Full Opinion Can Be Viewed Here
    [line]It was a split decision, so by Colorado law, the lower court rulings were affirmed.

    We need to see the legislature do something to clear this up in the next session.



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    Unfortunately Colorado but mostly Denver is being Kalifornicated. Boulder is nearly as bad.
    Better to live on the west slope of the state where it is a bit more rugged and liberals have to deal with independent thinkers and doers. I left Denver in 1989 and do not regret it.
    Still, there are much worse states for gun owners.

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    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...-PRINT,00.html

    Speakout: Despotic city, courts fret gun owners
    By John A. Sternberg
    June 26, 2006
    The city of Denver has long criminalized what has been legal elsewhere in Colorado, namely the ownership, use and transportation of firearms. After years of being abused by the city, gun owners found some measure of support in 2003 when the state legislature and governor passed two important bills. These bills established a statewide concealed carry statute (Senate Bill 24) and state law as the standard for possession, use and transportation of firearms (Senate Bill 25).
    Denver has for years claimed that, as a home rule city, they are free to treat gun owners anyway they want, including nonresidents who happen to be in Denver. Our state constitution never intended to create a city-state with home rule or to use home rule as a means to cancel other constitutional rights.
    So, after the legislature in 2003 handed Denver a loss on this issue and affirmed our constitutional rights to possess, use and transport firearms, Denver turned to the courts to achieve its desires. Denver lost on some of these issues when Judge Joe Meyer ruled that Denver must comply with the new state law regarding concealed carry and firearms in vehicles and more. Denver won when Meyer ruled that Denver can continue to enforce a slew of laws that only strike fear and confusion in the minds of gun owners. These include bans on openly carrying guns, and on the sale of so-called Saturday-night specials and assault weapons. Denver also won on its requirement for safe storage of guns.
    I was not satisfied that gun owners' interests would be properly represented when Denver originally filed suit against the state and governor, so I filed a motion to intervene in this case but was denied by Meyer. I then filed a separate suit against Denver. In my case, I forced Denver to produce evidence to support my claim that the constitution and legislative intent of preventing Denver from abusing gun owners' legal and constitutional rights was proper.
    The Colorado Supreme Court recently reached a tie vote of 3-3 in both my case and the case of Denver v. State of Colorado. To be clear, the Supreme Court could not reach a decision. So Meyer, a district court judge in Denver, had his ruling upheld. That means that a lone judge gets to trump the will of the duly elected legislature and governor. The only good news here is that Meyer's ruling applies only to the city of Denver and does not remove SB 24 and 25 from state law. So these laws are still in effect throughout Colorado, except in Denver.
    The evidence we uncovered in my case was astounding. Denver has not kept its laws on firearms up to date. A favorite tactic of the city attorney's office is to threaten prosecution of arrested gun owners under these old laws unless they surrender their firearms to the city. Most people surrender their guns. Those who do not are forced to spend thousands of dollars to have their wrongly seized firearms returned.
    Even more astounding was what Denver did and did not do with these firearms. The chief of police is required to report to the court the status of all firearms surrendered or seized by the police. From 1992 to 2002, Denver did not report to the court the status of more than 30,000 firearms. What happened to these 30,000 firearms is anyone's guess. If any of these guns is missing, then both state and federal laws may have been violated and this issue should be fully investigated.
    Denver bans the sale of so-called Saturday-night specials that are made of polymer or plastic yet allows its police and sheriffs deputies to purchase and carry these guns. Denver has only one prosecution for violating the so-called safe storage law. This law is so poorly written that its contradictory language makes it unclear how firearms are to be stored in Denver.
    Last is the famous "assault weapons" law. For more than 10 years Denver has refused to recognize the ruling in the 1994 Robertson case, in which the Supreme Court voided several sections of the city's assault weapons ban because they were too vague. It's ironic that Denver has ignored that ruling for 12 years, but now embraces a Supreme Court decision that essentially favors its policy objectives.
    Our Founding Fathers affirmed the equal rights of all in our state and federal constitutions. They also feared an all-powerful government and an out-of-control judiciary. We have both in Denver and in Colorado. An all-powerful municipal government that can ignore both the constitution and state law, and a Supreme Court with three members who choose to ignore that body's own prior rulings and legal precedent and issue personal opinions from the bench.
    We should all be concerned for the future of our state when there are classes of citizens created based on where we live or happen to be - the kingdom of Denver!
    John A. Sternberg is a firearms expert and is a member of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Rifle Association. He is a resident of Denver.

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    Thanks for the update 44Brent! Denver, for now at least, is likely beyond hope. Family and friends back home say not much is likely to change. Fortunately in such a big metro area, it's easy to just move to a surrounding area. Then in a best worst case scenario, one only has to commute to work inside the Denver city limit. Or just work somewhere else if possible.
    Let's hope this cancer does not spread to the rest of the surrounding area and state.
    In the meantime, fight the fight to get this tyranny undone.


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    There's a reason I currently live in Aurora and am looking to move further away, probably to Ft. Collins or somewhere else that's 2A friendly and respects the state and federal constitutions.

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    jpierce wrote:
    The Full Opinion Can Be Viewed Here

    [line]
    It was a split decision, so by Colorado law, the lower court rulings were affirmed.

    We need to see the legislature do something to clear this up in the next session.


    Yes, but only the Denver rulings are affirmed; future cases will be re-looked de novo. The CO SC ruling does not set binding precedent.

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    Mike, is there any chance that this is going to be fought again. RMGO thinking of filing suit? Perhaps not in Denver, say a more friendly part of the state. Declaratory Judgement or such? Anybody asked David Kopel to take on the case?

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    I think it will get straightened out eventually as the new justice will likely vote correctly in the next case.

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    It's been a while since the last post in this thread. I have heard nothing further, so probably the state has dropped the idea of continuing the appeal process.

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    Anubis wrote:
    It's been a while since the last post in this thread. I have heard nothing further, so probably the state has dropped the idea of continuing the appeal process.
    The appeal process is finished - the state lost. State claims are not appealable to the US SC.

    The good news is though that the vote was 3-3, simply affirming a local judge's ruling for Denver, and not providing binding precedent for the holding that home rule cities can thmub their nose at some aspects of state gun preemption law. One Justice recused ehreself - she was formerly of the AG's office who defended state preemption.

    Next case will hopefully be ruled the other way by a local judge, forcing the issue to bubble up again for resoluytion.

    Od, the CO legislature could tighten up the preemption law like UT's legislature did with respect to universities, clarifying that home rule never trumps preemption.

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    Mike wrote:
    Od, the CO legislature could tighten up the preemption law like UT's legislature did with respect to universities, clarifying that home rule never trumps preemption.
    wouldn't a ruling like that do wonders for some of the midwest states like Illinois.

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    DKSuddeth wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    Od, the CO legislature could tighten up the preemption law like UT's legislature did with respect to universities, clarifying that home rule never trumps preemption.
    wouldn't a ruling like that do wonders for some of the midwest states like Illinois.
    No - IL law at state level bans all gun carry in cities and towns.

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