December 02, 2004

Sen. Hillman on Meyer

At ColoradoSenate I found an article written by Sen. Mark Hillman about Meyer's decision in the Denver home rule v. state gun law case. Sen. Hillman is the majority leader in the state senate until January 12th when the Dems take the state over.

For more on Meyer's decision look here. Some interesting points are made by Sen. Hillman about Meyer's decision:

"• Unlike the legislation for concealed carry, Senate Bill 25 fails to set forth a comprehensive regulatory scheme that serves as uniform authority for open carry of firearms.'

In other words, Judge Meyer would likely have stricken down a concealed carry law that simply said, 'Any citizen who isn’t a criminal, drug user or mental patient may legally carry a concealed weapon without obtaining a permit.' The merits of such a law can be argued, but the policy is no more or no less constitutional than existing law."

Actually I'd argue that Colorado's constitutional provision excepting concealed carry form acknowledgement as a Right is conflicting & nonsensical, therefore the current "shall issue" CCW permit law is unconstitutional. (Here's more on Colorado's concealed carry law.)

But it is an interesting point; Meyer would likely have ruled against a permitless CCW law. Thanks to the Republicans in the state house & the NRA's Colorado affiliate the CSSA we'll never know for sure as they saw fit to kill a permitless concealed carry bill earlier this year. Bastards.

It's an interesting observation though; since Meyer viewed having an extensive system of regulation as necessary to trump a Denver law he probably would have ruled against a permitless concealed carry law. Bastard.

"• A gun carried under your jacket is a matter of statewide concern, but that same gun becomes a local matter when you take off your jacket."

It never made sense to me either, but I'll go one further than Sen. Hillman.

A gun carried openly is considered & in theory at least treated as a Right in Colorado, but if you put your jacket on over said firearm you need to beg for permission & pay a fee to get a permit for it?

"I voted for both SB 24 and SB 25 because an “inalienable right” is just that – a right which cannot be pre-empted by government, whether state or local. Although Colorado’s constitution gives home-rule cities broad authority, nowhere does the home rule amendment authorize cities to infringe on constitutional rights."

Now I'll grant I'm not as familiar with Sen. Hillman as I should be, but it'd be disappointing if he was against striking down laws that prohibited concealed carry or ones that required permits for them. If an inalienable Right cannot be pre-empted by state or local government, then how would he explain Colorado's insistence that the state can permit or prohibit concealed carry as it sees fit? For that matter how can he square his statement with laws against possession of any weapon? Perhaps he's on our side as it does kind of seem from his statements, but then again he does seem to imply that some regulation of possession is acceptable (his voting for SB 24).

All in all Sen. Hillman did a good job of refuting a few of Meyer's justifications. Go read his whole piece, & check on Colorado Senate when you can, as the next few years should be interesting. & I hate interesting years.

Update: Here's another article penned by Sen. Hillman. Very interesting. Give it a read.

Posted by Publicola at December 2, 2004 01:21 AM
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