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Thread: Newbie on the block

  1. #1
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    Hey all.

    I just purchased my first firearm, and I am VERY confused about open/concealed carry laws.

    I believe very strongly in my 2nd Amendment rights. I also believe that a "Right not excercised is a Right lost" (great motto!). However, I'm a pretty young guy. I just turned 23, but most of my friends say I look 19-20. Not because how I dress mind you, but just because I generally try to stay in shape, etc..

    What I am mostly concerned about is local cities bans on firearms. I live in Brighton, and I KNOW that the first time I open carry into King Soopers/Safeway Im going to be looked at as some punk kid trying to play John Wayne.

    Does anyone have any experience/suggestions for me?

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    Walk around at home with it, get used to it, don't keep your hand on it, or fumble with it, keep your wallet or change away from the gun so it doesn't look like your going to reach for it, and watch your back. If you experience a cop KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR GUN!! Be safe. If you are nervous, other people will see that and be nervous.

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    Welcome! I've been researching the nuances of Colorado laws for carrying and relevant court cases for a while now, so I can help you out a bit. On a purely legalistic level, you have some good footing; there's state preemption, and the unfortunate Supreme Court case recently that allowed Denver to ban open carry only applies to Denver itself. However, on a practical level, you'll probably run into some problems... Denver and its suburbs have been Californiafied by all the yuppies, and the law in Brighton reflects it:

    Sec. 9-32-20. Carrying dangerous weapons; forfeiture.
    (a) Except as provided in Section 9-32-30, it is unlawful for any person within the City to carry,
    use or wear any dangerous or deadly weapon, including but not by way of limitation, any pistol,
    revolver, rifle, shotgun, brass or artificial knuckles of any substances whatsoever, nunchakus, or any
    knife having a blade greater than three and one-half (3½) inches in length or any knife having an
    appearance of a pocketknife, the blade of which can be opened by a flick of a button, pressure on the
    handle or other mechanical device.
    (b) In addition to any other penalty imposed by law, every person convicted of any violation of
    this Section may be required to forfeit to the City such dangerous or deadly weapon.

    Sec. 9-32-30. Affirmative defenses.
    It shall be an affirmative defense to any charge brought under Section 9-32-20 of this Article that
    the weapon is or was carried by a person:
    (1) In a private automobile or other private means of conveyance for lawful protection of his,
    her or another's person or property while traveling away from the area of his or her residence or
    business;
    (2) 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 such weapon;
    (3) After he or she was duly issued a permit to carry a weapon by the Chief of Police and the
    carrying of such weapon is within the terms of such permit;
    (4) In aid of a civil power when legally summoned thereto;
    (5) For use in the course of a bona fide hunting trip for wild game or for transportation in the
    legitimate sporting use of such weapons, including shooting matches or other target shooting or
    trap or skeet shooting; provided, however, that all such weapons when so used shall be unloaded
    when carried or transported to or from such hunting trip or place of sporting use;
    (6) When such person is transporting such weapon for display, sale or repair to or from a
    place of display, sale or repair; provided, however, that all such firearms so displayed or
    transported shall be unloaded at all times;
    (7) When such person is a member of the armed forces of the United States or the State when
    engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties;
    (8) While moving personal property including such weapon from a former residence to a
    new residence; or
    (9) In the case of a knife, if such knife is a household knife and there is reasonable ground
    for a person having and carrying the knife away from the household. (Ord. 1024 §1(part), 1980;
    Ord. 1589, 1999)


    From the looks for that, Brighton still has its laws on the books from before state preemption went into effect and invalidated them. For example, it says here that you need a permit from the Chief of Police to carry a weapon, and CoP's haven't been able to issue permits for years!

    Now, many cities probably have such invalidated laws on the books without it being an issue. However, Brighton's a Denver suburb, and in a Denver suburb, I'm pretty sure you'll be harassed by every cop and self-righteous citizen, and given enough time, you'll probably have the cops called on you and might even be arrested. That said, you'd have a very strong defense and grounds for police harassment since Brighton's laws are technically illegal right now... but it's an unfortunate reality that "technically illegal" won't stop the court costs and problems that go along with fighting it. So, if I were you, I'd get a CCW and keep it hidden while in Brighton itself. A CCW is good to have anyways in Colorado, to keep your pistols warm and dry under a coat in winter and other uses along those lines.

    That said, Brighton is one of the worst places in the state for being harassed about carrying. Even a yuppie paradise like Boulder is decent for open carrying, with me doing it just about every day when the weather allows. Anywhere outside of what you'd think of as a "Denver suburb" or Denver itself, you'll be just fine; I carry in other big cities like Colorado Springs without any trouble at all.

    General Statewide Laws:
    http://www.packing.org/state/colorado/

    Link to the application for a CCW, if you want to grab it:
    http://www.co.boulder.co.us/sheriff/pdf/cwp.pdf

    And the location of where I took the NRA course for it:
    http://www.familyshootingcenter.com/


    Happy carrying!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the very informative response.

    Do you live in Brighton? I personally know several of the police, two very well (I own a local business). However, I've never had to get into an argument/discussion with them yet about such laws.

    What exactly is "open" considered? Could I wear it under a coat, or does it ALWAYS have to be 100% out in plain sight? What about if I wear on my hip, and my coat covers it up?

    Thanks,

    Lee

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    I live in Boulder, but I've got a friend who lives in Brighton, and when I've gone out to visit, I've not been bold enough to OC. Boulder is pretty anti-gun in all ways, but I'm still more comfortable OCing there than I would be in Brighton.

    As for you having a local business, Colorado permits the same freedoms in a business you own as in your home: you can OC/CC to your heart's content without a CCW and without worrying about whether it's "open" or "concealed" enough, so if you want to carry while you're there you won't need to worry about waiting for your CCW to come first or whether you're violating Denver's draconian open-carry laws.

    As for what's "open" versus "concealed" when you're OCing, Colorado doesn't define exactly what "concealed" is (which surprised me when I first noticed... got to love it when a government prohibits something without telling you what that is, eh?), so, the legal standard of the "common man" comes into play: if Average Joe on the street can tell you're carrying a gun without question, it's open, and if at any time he can't, it's concealed. OC doesn't mean the whole gun has to be visible (if it's in a holster, for example, the barrel/slide would be mostly covered, for example), but that it's clear you're carrying a pistol. If you had a jacket open in the front and a pistol under it on your hip, it would be visible from the front, but not the back or sides, and that would be concealed because it would be hidden from plain view some of the time and people seeing the buldge under your jacket wouldn't know it's a gun; if you have a pistol in a holster on your hip, much of the physical gun might be covered, but everyone from all angles will be able to recognize it for what it is.

    If you've got a 1911, you can get away with what I do when I head down to Denver and need to cover your gun up completely no matter what... I went to an Army-Navy surplus store and bought an old military holster from WWII for about $20 like the one in the attached image. While it's still carried openly with easy access where a normal OC holster is located, the flap covers your pistol 100% and is a great retention system. A Denver cop at the shooting range one day saw it and told me it was a great idea, since he wants to OC off-duty as well and isn't able to in the city!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Lee wrote:
    What exactly is "open" considered? Could I wear it under a coat, or does it ALWAYS have to be 100% out in plain sight? What about if I wear on my hip, and my coat covers it up?
    This is why you should also get a CO concealed carry permit.

    Your voluntary showing of a CHP to LEOs in an open carry interaction with LEOs is an easy way to diffuse the situation, then, upon regaining the upper hand, go to the watch commander and police department leadership and ask that officers ber reminded that OC is legal without any permit.

  7. #7
    Regular Member vermonter's Avatar
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    Colorado is anti b/c you LET the morons from CA move there. The same thing is happening in VT. EVERY chance I get if I even get a hint that someone is from Mass, PRNJ or LOWER NY I tell them flat out they arr not liked or wanted in VT!

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    Just wanted to let everyone know that Billie's in Brighton, CO is open carry friendly. I work every weekend, so I can promise nobody will freak on the weekends. However if you want to arrange a meetup there during the week I will try to be there.

    We're only open 7AM-2PM so you'll have to get up early!



  9. #9
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    Vermonter, I can't blame you for your attitude, but I suggest you accept the fact that "come heres" are a fact of life. I won't insult your intelligence with the old "flies/honey/vinegar" saying, but in fact, we're all probably better off trying to educate the antis than offend them. Since we have the facts, the law, and common sense on our side, we should work to at least neutralize them, if not convert them. I'd rather invite an anti to the range for some target shooting fun than alienate them permanently by saying "go home, you damn Yankee". (no offense, of course, my Vermont friend!)

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