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Thread: 90 day approve/disapprove

  1. #1
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    Are Colorado sheriff's required to approve/disapprove a CCW permit application within 90 days? Or can they just delay forever?

    It seems that since money has changed hands, that the applicant should have some kind of recourse.

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    I get asked this question all the time..

    Me: I'm on my 80th day.. only two more weeks left until my permit..

    Them: What happens if the Sheriff takes more than 90 days?

    Me: ... uh... uh


    Does anybody file lawsuits against the county for violating state law? I have searched the forums over and most folks are getting the call for their permit at 89 or the 90th day, exactly.

    Not to sure.

    I'm due to get mine by the 19th this month.

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    Regular Member entartet17's Avatar
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    I dont know of anyone's permit taking longer than the 90 days, even Denver permits. If they ever did violate this statute one could sue the county to force them to issue the permit.
    "There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs of freedom" -- Garet Garrett, The Revolution Was (1938)

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    Just got the call for Jeffco. Submitted my app on the 18th of March. Heading out now

    Congratulate Me!

  5. #5
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    Maximum 90 days in most counties, but I'd check your local sheriff office website for the specific ordinance and requirement.

    I haven't heard of anyone going past that date.

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    Even going past the date, I don't think there's a high instance of indefinite postponement. It'd be more time and effort to deal with the lawsuit just to get them to give you a reason for denial.

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    It took close to 90 days (I forget exactly how long) a few years ago in Arapahoe County. I was told that they were understaffed, and had seen a large increase in applications. I never got the impression that they were stalling and lying to me. I guess where I'm really going with this is that this might be somewhere to cut them a little slack. Seems like all sorts of state departments are extremely understaffed.

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    jpprice47 wrote:
    Are Colorado sheriff's required to approve/disapprove a CCW permit application within 90 days? Or can they just delay forever?

    It seems that since money has changed hands, that the applicant should have some kind of recourse.
    DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney in Colorado. The following is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Moreover, this is a "quick and dirty" analysis of Colorado law so take it for what it cost you to get it.

    The answer is two parts:
    (1) sheriffs MUST grant or deny an application for a permit within 90 days and cannot "delay forever"; and
    (2) if the sheriff fails to act on the application timely, you can bring an action called a "petition for a writ of mandamus" to compel his action.

    The relevant statutes are included below:

    C.R.S. 18-12-203: Criteria for obtaining a permit.
    (1) Beginning May 17, 2003, except as otherwise provided in this section, a sheriff shall issue a permit to carry a concealed handgun to an applicant who: . . .

    C.R.S. 18-12-206: Sheriff - application - procedure - background check.
    (1) Within ninety days after the date of receipt of the items specified in section 18-12-205, a sheriff shall:
    (a) Approve the permit application and issue the permit; or
    (b) Deny the permit application . . . .

    The Colorado Constitution Article VI, Section 3 provides:
    The supreme court shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, injunction, and such other original and remedial writs as may be provided by rule of court with authority to hear and determine the same . . . .

    A writ of mandamus is an order from a court to a person (even a government official, including a sheriff or judge) to perform a particular action owed to an individual as of right. The decision from a 1995 case from the Colorado Supreme Court (State ex rel. Norton v. Board of County Comm'rs, 897 P.2d 788 (Co. 1995)) describes the writ of mandamus this way:

    Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy which may be used to compel performance by public officials of a plain legal duty devolving upon them by virtue of their office or which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from the office. A three-part test must be satisfied before mandamus is issued. First, a plaintiff must have a clear right to the relief sought. Second, a defendant must have a clear duty to perform the act requested. Third, there must be no other available remedy.
    In my opinion, a sheriff who extends his decision on a weapons permit passed the 90 days, as provided by statute, is subject to a writ of mandamus compelling him to provide a decision. First, the applicant has a clear right to the relief sought, which is a decision on the application. This is provided by C.R.S. 18-12-206(1) as quoted above. Second, the sheriff has a clear duty to render a decision on the permit under that same statute. Third, the applicant has no other remedy under Colorado law as applications for a permit may only be granted or denied by a sheriff pursuant to that same statute.

    You can bring a petition for a writ of mandamus in the judicial district where the sheriff is located.

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