February 07, 2013

Co HB 1229

A few of the proposed gun owner control laws have been formally introduced here in Colorado. They ain't pretty, for damn sure. The devil though is in the details. Here's one of them:

Colorado House Bill 1229 requires background checks on all transfers, except as excepted. The gist is you have to request approval from the CBI, then find a dealer to conduct the background check (recording it like it was a transfer from the dealer's inventory, subject to all federal and state rules). The dealer can charge you a fee of no more than $10 (remember that cause we'll be coming back to it regarding another bill). It also enhances the requirements for the clerk of court to report info to the CBI and NICS respectively as well as sets up some sort of judicial review process for relief from disability (i.e. you can appeal to a court being unable to legally purchase a firearm).

The real interesting part is that it establishes exceptions for transfers, such as loaning one to someone when life and limb are on the line, for hunting if everyone has the proper licenses and permits to hunt, and for use on a range owned or run by an organized entity for conservation or marksmanship. Note: if I'm reading this correctly, then person A could not let person B handle or shoot person A's firearms if they were shooting on public land.

If you violate any provision, it's a misdemeanor, but you'll be prohibited from possessing a firearm for two years!

At a glance I can't see how relief from disability will work on the federal level, unless they just mean corrections in the records concerning who may or may not legally possess a firearm. Unless I'm mistaken, Congress has declared only the ATFeieio can grant such relief, and congress has refused to fund such relief effort for decades.

I believe under this proposal I could let someone handle a firearm of mine in my own home but not on public land unless we're both legally hunting or fishing or trapping.

It exempts transfers from souses, immediate family, etc.. but curiously, it would not seem to exempt transfers betwixt two people living in sin. No mention of common law marriage or civil unions, so gay couples as well as straight couples who don't want to take the marriage penalty on their taxes are out of luck if they want to transfer a firearm to each other.

Antiques as well as Curios and Relics are exempted.

While it does not mention registration per se, it does require approval of the CBI to conduct a background check for a transfer, which leads me to believe they'll keep track of who owns what form that point on.

I am curious how such a system would work, as the form 4473 has very strict rules concerning its use. It's possible that the ATFeieio would happily revise a regulation to let it be used for such transfers, but I'm not as up on my Brady law as I should be, so it may take congressional action.

In short, it could have been worse, but it's still not a good law - seems overly complex, a bit haphazard and of course burdensome on honest folk.

Posted by Publicola at February 7, 2013 06:38 PM | TrackBack
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