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Thread: Clarification on Colorado Preemption

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    So just to be clear.. everywhere except denver is preempted ??



    and does the preemption exemption for denver allow the city to pass any gun laws they want or only the ones that were on the books at the time preemption was passed ??

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    Literally every jurisdiction in the State, except Denver County/City is fully preempted by Colorado State Law.

    Two things happened recently; a Senate Bill regulating the carry of firearms and a Colorado Supreme Court decision on the ability of local municipalities to regulate firearms.

    Here's the deal- Many localities have firearms regulations on the books. These are Not new laws. The regulations usually revolve around open carry, brandishing, and sometimes even concealed carry.

    The Supreme Court Decision And our Senate Bill, combined with our State Constitution, provide an extremely clear cut answer to your question.

    You may open carry Anywhere in Colorado, except Denver- open carry is the Only constitutionally protected way to carry in Colorado.

    Localities May ban open carry with properly posted signage. All Jefferson County Open Space parks are marked for no carry of firearms; which means No Open Carry.

    Stay safe and carry on!

    PS. If you have your CHP and stay out of Denver- you have the ability to carry your pistol in almost Any fashion you see fit. For regardless of the officers interpretation; you will be fully legal. Concealed or Open, you know?


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    Is there someone in the Colorado government who is going to revisit preemption in the next legislative session?

    Get rid of Denver's AWB and OC ban?

    Maybe reduce "specific area" to mean "INSIDE a building" (although I would love to see that done away with.)

    Any recent attempts at expanding freedom? How did they go?

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    cscitney87 wrote:
    Literally every jurisdiction in the State, except Denver County/City is fully preempted by Colorado State Law.

    Two things happened recently; a Senate Bill regulating the carry of firearms and a Colorado Supreme Court decision on the ability of local municipalities to regulate firearms.

    Here's the deal- Many localities have firearms regulations on the books.* These are Not new laws.* The regulations usually revolve around open carry, brandishing, and sometimes even concealed carry.

    The Supreme Court Decision And our Senate Bill, combined with our State Constitution, provide an extremely clear cut answer to your question.

    You may open carry Anywhere in Colorado, except Denver- open carry is the Only constitutionally protected way to carry in Colorado.

    Localities May ban open carry with properly posted signage.* All Jefferson County Open Space parks are marked for no carry of firearms; which means No Open Carry.

    Stay safe and carry on!

    PS.* If you have your CHP and stay out of Denver- you have the ability to carry your pistol in almost Any fashion you see fit.* For regardless of the officers interpretation; you will be fully legal.* Concealed or Open, you know?

    ^^^ is one opinion. For others, you may wish to go to http://www.rmgo.org/faq/#OpenCarry

    and slog through this thread:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/39357-1.html

    Cscitney,
    Which "Senate Bill" and "Supreme Court Decision" are you referring to?

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    kingfish wrote:
    Is there someone in the Colorado government who is going to revisit preemption in the next legislative session?

    Get rid of Denver's AWB and OC ban?

    Maybe reduce "specific area" to mean "INSIDE a building" (although I would love to see that done away with.)

    Any recent attempts at expanding freedom?* How did they go?*
    Nothing's going to happen until Ritter's out of office. The legislature passed a bill allowing people with permits to buy guns without a background check, and he vetoed it. He's a big stumbling block.

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    Dynamite Rabbit wrote:
    Nothing's going to happen until Ritter's out of office. The legislature passed a bill allowing people with permits to buy guns without a background check, and he vetoed it. He's a big stumbling block.
    Well, I am new to the Colorado political scene (having just decided to move there ASAP.) So I am not up on everything but it seems like he is not running for reelection and will be out of office in January. Is that not the case?

    It looks like the 2 candidates are:
    McInnis (R) Former LEO? Former Representative

    Hickenlooper (D) Mayor of Denver?

    Although McInnis does not seem a huge proponents of gun RIGHTS it looks (to my limited research) that he would be unlikely to veto pro rights bills put before him.

    It also seems as though the political scene at the capital is likely to change in the 2010 elections going more conservative.

    The major issue with any state government is committees. When a party is in power in a house then that party chooses who is on the committees and those committees decide what legislation makes it to the floor. I also assume CO has a speaker of some type in each house that decides the agenda and can simply not bring certain bills to the floor.


    So, with Ritter out of the way in January (right?) is there someone in the legislature that is going to step up and introduce legislation?

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    Correct, Ritter's not running. I agree about McInnis -- he'd be OK as far as firearms issues go. Dan Maes is a much better choice (IMHO).

    Not sure about the legislature or potential future legislators -- I need to do some homework!

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    From Wikipedia...(I know a HORRIBLE source and I will do better.)

    Regular sessions are held annually and begin no later than the second Wednesday in January. Regular sessions last no more than 120 days.


    Joint procedural rules of the two chambers require most legislation to be introduced very early in the legislative session each year, and to meet strict deadlines for completion of each step of the legislative process. Joint procedural rules also limit each legislator to introducing five bills per year, subject to certain exceptions for non-binding resolutions, uniform acts, interim committee bills and appropriations bills. Most members of the General Assembly decide which bills they will introduce during the legislative session (or most of them) prior to its commencement, limiting to ability of members to introduce new bills at constituent request once the legislative session has begun.



    Looks like NOW is the time to get someone on the ball. Is RMGO a power house?(Can't access their site from work) We all know the NRA is useless when it comes to actual "rights".

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    Once we get rid of that ******* Ritter and take back the legislature, anything is possible. Hickenlooper or whatever the **** his name is, is Tax Ritter's bootlicker. He wants to do to the whole state what he's done to the PDR of Denver.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Dynamite Rabbit wrote:
    cscitney87 wrote:


    ^^^ is one opinion. For others, you may wish to go to http://www.rmgo.org/faq/#OpenCarry
    What's your opinion? How, exactly, is my opinion out of sync with that of RMGOs?

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    And I mean, exactly.

    No municipality is banning Open Carry, except Denver. Denver City/County has been lawfully declared able to prohibit Open Carry without posted signage. There's no other standing prohibition. I know that RMGO says Arvada and Castle Rock. Castle Rocks ban has been debunked right here in our own forum time and time again. And I KNOW for a fact you can walk Arvada Open Carry any many of us do daily.

    There's nothing else on RMGOs website that says otherwise. You're wrong and I'm right.

    Gunna prove me wrong or just say stuff? Just say stuff- like No you're wrong or "that's not what my lawyer said" or what? OR provide proof? But I'm sure you have proof. I'm sure you have evidence. You must be able to prove me wrong.. right? Please, no more links..

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    Answer to your question.. Senate Bill for concealed carry that was made law recently. And the judicial decision? We ALL know the decision. The "Meyer's Decision" which put, in stone, the fact that Only Denver can prohibit OC without proper signage. At least for now.

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    cscitney87 wrote:
    Answer to your question.. Senate Bill for concealed carry that was made law recently.* And the judicial decision?* We ALL know the decision.* The "Meyer's Decision" which put, in stone, the fact that Only Denver can prohibit OC without proper signage.* At least for now.
    I thought you had something new -- the concealed carry law and Meyer decision aren't recent (to me, anyway). Shall-issue became law in 2003, and the Meyer decision was made in 2004.

    I'm not going to debate this with you again. You think state preemption is clear-cut, and I don't. If it were, Denver would have open carry.

    You were asked before if you'll help with legal fees if someone's arrested for open carry (based on your advice), and you never replied. You should probably make it clear that you're not a lawyer when you're giving legal advice.

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    cscitney87 wrote:
    Answer to your question.. Senate Bill for concealed carry that was made law recently. And the judicial decision? We ALL know the decision. The "Meyer's Decision" which put, in stone, the fact that Only Denver can prohibit OC without proper signage. At least for now.
    Vail or Breckenridge is banning open carry in the open spaces area around it and in the city. Need some research, but they are doing the same as Denver. I think it's Vail but my resources are limited here at work for research.

    Denver is not the only municipality to violate the state constitution with bulls**.....

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    I just read through the ordinances for Breckenridge, and they do not have a general ban on OC.

    6-3E-11: OPEN CARRYING OF FIREARMS PROHIBITED:
    A. Where signs are posted as required by subsection B of this
    section, it shall be unlawful for any person to openly carry a
    firearm in or upon any real property owned or used by the town to
    which the general public has access, including, but not limited
    to, the following town owned or used buildings and areas located
    in the town of Breckenridge and county of Summit:

    [lists some specific places]

    B. The police chief shall post signs at the public entrances to
    each building or specific area described in subsection A of this
    section informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is
    prohibited in the building or specific area.


    According to this, Breckenridge is in full compliance with State law as long as the signs are actually posted.

    The only statute where there is a problem is:

    6-3E-5: POSSESSION WITHIN LICENSED PREMISES:
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person as a patron of an
    establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption
    on the premises, to possess or carry or display any dangerous or
    deadly weapon, whether concealed or not, while on the premises of
    such establishment.


    Unless this requirement is posted at the entrances to such establishments, they are not in compliance with state law regarding OC. And, of course, the CANNOT restrict CC.

    As for Vail:

    The only statute involving OC is:

    6-3G-5: POSSESSION IN LICENSED PREMISES OR ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS:
    A. Liquor Licensed Premises: It shall be unlawful for any person, as a patron of an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises, to possess or carry or display any dangerous or deadly weapon, whether concealed or not, while on the premises of such establishment.


    B. Public Property: It shall be unlawful for any person entering upon any public property including public parks or public buildings such as, but not limited to, the Town administrative offices, the public library, the Public Works Department, any school, hospital, post office, or other public facility to possess or carry or display any dangerous or deadly weapon, whether concealed or not, while on such premises.


    The restriction on OC and CC in places that sell alcohol is the same with Breckenridge. Again, they CANNOT restrict CC.

    Section B has two problems:
    1. The statute does not mention the posting of "No OC" signs (though it may be posted).
    2. They cannot restrict CC unless these public buildings are equipped with metal detectors (except post offices which are subject to federal restrictions).


    **UPDATE**:
    I just checked the dates that the Vail ordinances were passed and it was 1994, clearly before CO's Right to Carry Law. Also, the Breckenridge law prohibiting CC in places that sell alcohol dates to 1981 which is also (obviously) before the 2003 RTC law. It seems these laws have just never been taken off the books.
    "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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    Knew they were messing with our rights, thanks for posting that.

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    Yup so to clarify. OC anywhere except Denver City/county. Flat out.

    Happy Open Carry!

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    Arvada municipal code on open carry

    Sec. 62-71. - Open carry of firearms prohibited.

    (a)
    Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
    Firearm means any handgun, automatic, revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other instrument or device capable of or intended to be capable of discharging bullets, cartridges, or other explosive devices.

    Public building means any structure, facility, site, or area that is owned, operated, or leased by the city.

    Specific area means:

    (1)
    All recreational facilities and sports complexes located within the city and owned, operated, or leased by either the city or the North Jeffco Park and Recreation District including, but not limited to, swimming pools, tennis courts, ice rinks, skate parks, basketball courts, pedestrian and bicycle paths, green belts, golf courses, picnic facilities, lawns, gardens, parks, trails, or open space; or
    (2)
    Arvada/Blunn Reservoir, including the lake, dam, spillways, appurtenances, and city-owned lands surrounding the reservoir.
    (b)
    Carrying firearm. All firearms must be carried in such a manner so as to be completely concealed from the view of another. Any firearm carried in such a manner as to be visible in whole or in part and for any length of time to another shall be deemed to be open or openly carried.
    (c)
    Openly carry. It shall be unlawful for any person to open or openly carry any firearm in or upon any public building or specific area within the city.
    (d)
    Exception. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the carrying of any firearm except in accordance with state and federal law.
    (e)
    Authorized persons. Nothing in this section shall be construed to forbid any peace officer or other city employee duly authorized to carry a firearm from carrying or wearing such firearms as may be necessary in the proper discharge of his duties. Nothing in this section shall be construed to forbid the employee of any armored car service agency providing money transport services pursuant to a contractual arrangement with the city or the North Jeffco Park and Recreation District from carrying or wearing such firearms as may be necessary in the proper discharge of his duties, so long as the employee has been duly authorized by his employer to carry a firearm and he is acting within the course of his employment at the time the firearm is being carried or worn.
    (f)
    Concealed permit. Possession of a valid concealed carry permit shall not constitute a defense to a charge of openly carrying a firearm where prohibited.
    (g)
    Violation. Any person violating subsection (c) of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine, or imprisoned, or both, not to exceed the limits established in section 1-5.
    (Code 1981, 21-38; Ord. No. 3812, 1, 6-16-2003)

    **************

    Obviously, the discrepancy between 'b' and 'c' is problematic. If I open carry in Arvada, the cops can surely cite me for violations of 62-71(b). I could argue and point to section (c), since it seems to IMPLY that only pubic buildings/specific areas are off limits for OC, but the ambiguity seems sufficient for the cops to arrest me anyway.

    Now, it may be that the Supreme Court decision renders this action erroneous (I don't know enough about that case, having just moved here, to speculate), but that's not going to do me much good as I sit, handcuffed, in the back of a cruiser. Based on my read, it would require a legal challenge to undo what was done.

    Thus, the folks in this thread who are blithely "guaranteeing" that open carry is fine everywhere but Denver - and explicitly that OC in Arvada is okey-dokey based on the fact that they're not (yet) been arrested - seem to me to be way off base. As mentioned earlier in the thread, perhaps those true believers would be willing to establish a legal defense fund if they are so certain. As for me, I'll avoid patronizing businesses in Arvada, which sucks because it's right next door to me, being in Westminster.

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    Boulder

    I have another story to add:

    Before moving here, I visited Boulder. I OC'd on Pearl St, was corralled within a few minutes by 2 cops. I insisted OC was legal, based on RMGO FAQ. The disagreed, and called a Sergeant down - nice guy as it turned out, though dreadfully misinformed about state pre-emption. The upshot is that the Boulder city code also prohibits OC - and more - the sergeant pulled up the city code on his laptop for me:

    http://www.colocode.com/boulder2/chapter5-8.htm

    Snippet:

    5-8-8 Possession of Loaded Firearms.
    (a) Except as set forth in this chapter, no person shall possess a loaded firearm or a loaded gas or mechanically operated gun.

    (b) For the purposes of this section, a firearm is loaded if there is a projectile, with charge,22 in the chamber, in the cylinder, or in the clip in the firearm.
    ...

    Theres a lot of other stuff there (it's about as bad as the gun control regs in California, to be frank), including specification of affirmative defenses which probably bear on the subject - BUT in my case, I didn't have access to the entire code section, and the sergeant offered me 2 choices:

    1. Based on my AZ CCW (reciprocity with CO), I could conceal my firearm and go on my way, or
    2. He would process me for that violation.

    Now, he could well have been bluffing, and I was not in a position to know, despite having done what I thought was sufficient due diligence (which turned out to be incomplete) via RMGO FAQ and so forth. But again, as with the above argument, to assert unilaterally that open carry is "flat out" OK everywhere except Denver is misleading at best. Flat out.

    My intent is to find a CO lawyer who knows the gun laws and ascertain from him or her my level of risk in OC'ing in cities and municipalities with anti-OC codes. I'd suggest anyone else who wishes to OC here but does not want to play the starring role in a protracted court battle do the same.

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    I lived in Boulder for 3.5 years recently, and had two Boulder PD interactions for OC (if you go back to around 2006 or so here in the forums, you'll find them). The second one involved a sergeant saying "if you don't conceal that right now, I'm going to arrest you, and call the sheriff to have your permit revoked." I responded by, "go ahead, and you can be named as a defendant in the civil suit I file, and you can pay for my lawyer and expenses after I win court costs."

    I didn't get arrested, surprise surprise. Boulder PD loves to bluff thanks to all the 20-30 year old college kids, no matter how old you happen to be, because they think everyone is as gullible and easy to manipulate as a drunk undergraduate. Stand up for your rights and you'll be fine.

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    rights vs practicality and legality

    Sounds like bluff vs bluff. If in fact the Boulder code authorizes local cops to arrest those who OC, then the cop is not liable in a civil suit - the city is. Glad it panned out for you, but I don't think one data point proves anything. The question remains: what is the legality of this? And what are the practical implications? Reading through this thread, there are way too many posts blithely suggesting people OC without a care in the world anywhere but Denver. That's bad advice.

    My point in posting, as I think I made clear, is NOT to argue against OC. It is to rebuff the suggestion that you can OC anywhere in CO except Denver without any problems. That's flat out bad advice, without some qualification, to wit:

    OC'ing in Arvada and Boulder may be within one's rights, but that doesn't mean it is supported by the law of those cities, and it would be wise to obtain LEGAL ADVICE prior to such actions. Laws and rights are vastly different things, and local law enforcement often doesn't have a solid grasp of the former, let alone the latter.

    I'd further note that most of those I know who OC recognize that rights have very little to do with carrying guns in America these days. A simplistic appeal to rights often carries no weight with the agents of the State intent upon total infringement of those rights.

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    "Thus, the folks in this thread who are blithely "guaranteeing" that open carry is fine everywhere but Denver - and explicitly that OC in Arvada is okey-dokey based on the fact that they're not (yet) been arrested - seem to me to be way off base."

    Your type is very common around here. We often have this type of posting from time to time.

    You'll grow up.

    Then you'll realize you can OC anywhere in CO except Denver.

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    to add- it's been covered 10000 times that all the city and local statutes are **OLDER*** than the Supreme Court Judge Meyer's decision and are also OLDER than the Senate Bill covering CC.

    Of course the localities never remove the old statute from the books- and they are unenforceable. This includes Golden, Arvada, Boulder, and anywhere else that is Not Denver.

    Duh....

    But like I said.. You'll grow up.

    Go ahead and LIMIT Yourself if you want to. I'll carry about my business- Openly.

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    Your aggressive, self-righteous tone adds little to the debate. I'm sure we're all impressed by your 'I'll do as I please and face the consequences like a free man' attitude, but it doesn't answer the question.

    The *practical* question is: what consequences can one expect to face should one choose to OC in various cities and towns around Colorado?

    For my part, I OC just about everywhere - including Arvada yesterday, so please, csctiney, do not think to lecture me from some presumed moral high ground. I don't respond well to sanctimony and moral judgmentalism and neither do most of the people I know, especially fans of gun rights.

    I would also add I consider it foolish to alienate your fellow OCers thusly. There are not that many of us around, and encouragement rather than divisiveness would seem to be called for. Just one man's opinion.

    Your assertion that city codes against OC (not statutes - that's state law) being "unenforceable" is ambiguous, as you must know.

    In Boulder, one can expect to be accosted by the police and threatened with arrest. We know this. We have one data point that this was a bluff. My read of the Boulder code supports OC there. Consider, we have:

    5-8-8 Possession of Loaded Firearms.
    (a) Except as set forth in this chapter, no person shall possess a loaded firearm or a loaded gas or mechanically operated gun.

    But then we have:

    5-8-22 Defenses.
    (a) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating sections ... 5-8-8, "Possession of Loaded Firearms," B.R.C. 1981, that the defendant was:

    (1) Reasonably engaged in lawful self-defense under the statutes of the State of Colorado; or

    (2) Reasonably exercising the right to keep and bear arms in defense of the defendant's or another's home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when legally thereto summoned.

    So 5-8-22.a.2 would SEEM to negate 5-8-8. BUT that depends - we have the weasel word 'reasonably' to worry about, at the very least. Could a cop arrest you without concern for a civil suit? May depend on case law, which I don't know, not being a lawyer. At least, you could probably be arrested, and then the upper management types - perhaps upon advice from the district attorney's office - may choose not to charge. Unless they are looking to establish another 2nd amendment-free zone in Boulder, which, because such an attempt would play well politically there, might well be the case. Thus, someone who chooses to OC in Boulder may well have RIGHTS on their side, they may even have STATE law on their side, but nevertheless be arrested, charged, and cast in the starring role in a political case - which could go nowhere or all the way up. Who knows. They say a patent it not a patent until it's been litigated - same thing goes for obscure city ordinances.

    Bottom line: there are possibly significant consequences to OC in Boulder - flat out.

    As to Arvada, I have no idea. Maybe the same argument applies? The case is less clear since I can't find affirmative defenses like the one on the Boulder code. That means to me that there is a higher likelihood that an Arvada LEO could arrest you at his discretion without fear of a civil suit: he was just enforcing the law, and courts grant wide latitude to a cop's discretion. Again, they may choose not to charge you, but then again, they may - and the consequences of arrest itself let alone being charged should be considered.

    For example, there may be folks visiting this board who at some point may need to get a security clearance for a job, and an arrest - however frivolous, however "unenforceable" the charge - could mean they don't get it. So as someone said earlier, asserting legal advice based solely upon one's preferences in a post here is inexcusably reckless, and anyone reading these threads should consult a lawyer so they know just where they stand.

    Everybody has the right, and SHOULD have the freedom, to make their own choices in this regard, free from sanctimonious moral judgements.

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