DENVER, COLORADO — A new bill that passed the Republican-led Senate would allow residents in Colorado to carry a concealed firearm without the need for a permit. Senate Bill 97 made it by a vote of 18-17 and will now head to the House.
Except, the House is run by Democrats.
Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, who brought the legislation, argues that people “shouldn’t have to jump through additional hoops or pay what amounts to a tax because they choose to carry their means of self-defense in a pocket or a purse or otherwise out of sight.”
“This bill has to do strictly with the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Neville said, calling it a matter of personal and public safety.
Democrats raised concerns about the potential dangers of bad actors carrying concealed weapons or people lacking proper training or experience.
“The last thing we should be doing is making it easier to have firearms that people don’t know about,” said Deputy Minority Leader Matt Jones, D-Longmont. “I find it preposterous that we bring this. That’s my opinion. And we bring it every year.”
In 2017 alone, Colorado processed over 50,000 concealed carry permits.
Permitless concealed carry is not a new idea, as a few states already follow this rule. The most famous, Vermont, has never had a requirement to possess a permit to carry a firearm.
While this bill is likely to not pass the House, it brings up a good point. After a tragedy such as the school shooting in Florida, people from both sides come out to fight for what they feel is the right thing to do. It’s refreshing to see pro-gun folks making progress, and of course we will be met with resistance along the road.
But the simple fact that we can have something like permitless carry pass the Senate is something, and it’s something that people are talking about.