Be Aware, Denver can Preempt State Firearms Law


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mountainclmbr
June 10, 2006, 11:51 AM
Looks like Denver is a dangerous place for gun owners. The state supreme court had a split decision where Denver ignored state law prohibiting cities from preempting state laws.

See the link for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners which has some explanation and links to the text of the decision:

http://www.rmgo.org/stern1.shtml

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Desertdog
June 10, 2006, 03:33 PM
John said the Colorado Supreme Court just announced they split their decision on his appeal to the November 2004 Meyers decision. 3 justices wanted to overturn Meyers, while 3 wanted it to stand.
How are the judges selected?
Are they voted on to be there, or can they be voted out. If yes it is obvious what is needed when the names of the three that were for Denver Exemption are on the ballot next time.

mountainclmbr
June 11, 2006, 01:24 AM
I believe the judges are appointed. The old Denver mayor, the leftist Mayor Wellington Webb, stated that the Denver law prohibiting posession of guns in cars was to crack down on gang crime and not to arrest the law-abiding NRA member taking a gun hunting or to the range. But, of course, the law abiding do seem to be who they were after. The gangs have not seen crackdowns, but law-abiding citizens are arrested, their vehicles auctioned, and they must spend loads of money to clear themselves. I know of no one who got their vehicle back or got compensation even after being cleared. This ruling means that it will likely be more of the same.

leadcounsel
June 11, 2006, 05:58 PM
I wrote the following letter to the Denver leaders because as a Denver resident this concerns me very much. I understand that they will be deciding soon what if anything to enforce. Currently the books say that assault weapons and hi capacity mags are illegal misdemeanors.

Denver City Council
City & County Bldg.
1437 Bannock St., Rm. 451
Denver, CO 80202
720-865-9534
dencc@ci.denver.co.us
Fax: 720-865-9540

Denver City Attorney
1437 Bannock, St., Room 353
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 865-8600
city.attorney@ci.denver.co.us
Fax: (720) 865-8796

Dear Denver City Council Members and City Attorney:

I am a resident of Colorado and a resident of the City of Denver. I am also a supporter of the United States Constitution and the Colorado Constitution and the Department of Justice interpretation that these rights are Individual Rights as opposed to collective rights.

The United States Constitution

Amendment II of the Bill of Rights:
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

While it is a controversially interpreted right it is clear that it is meant to be an individual right and not exclusively a collective right. Compare that language with the following:
Amendment I of the Bill of Rights:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It is undisputable that “the people” as referenced in the 1st Amendment is meant as an individual right, and there are numerous examples in the Bill of Rights and in all cases the rights are individual rights rather than collective rights. Why interpret the 2nd Amendment differently?

The Department of Justice agrees that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is an individual right as evidenced in its Memorandum Opinion for the Attorney General, August 24, 2004. The conclusion of that Memo is the following:

“…[W]e conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and to bear arms. Current case law leaves open and unsettled the question of whose right is secured by the Amendment. Although we do not address the scope of the right, our examination of the original meaning of the Amendment provides extensive reasons to conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right, and no persuasive basis for either the collective-right or quasi-collective-right views. The text of the Amendment's operative clause, setting out a "right of the people to keep and bear Arms," is clear and is reinforced by the Constitution's structure. The Amendment's prefatory clause, properly understood, is fully consistent with this interpretation. The broader history of the Anglo-American right of individuals to have and use arms, from England's Revolution of 1688-1689 to the ratification of the Second Amendment a hundred years later, leads to the same conclusion. Finally, the first hundred years of interpretations of the Amendment, and especially the commentaries and case law in the pre-Civil War period closest to the Amendment's ratification, confirm what the text and history of the Second Amendment require.


The Colorado Constitution

The Colorado Constitution, Article II, Section 13 – Keep and Bear Arms, states:
“The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question….”

This also grants unqualified individual rights for individuals to keep and bear arms in the State of Colorado. Much like the US Constitution, the Colorado Constitution recognizes that the rights of the people to keep and bear arms may be called upon in the defense of home, person, property or in the aid of the civil power when legally summoned. We’re not talking about grandpas double barreled duck shotgun or a varmint rifle; this addresses military weaponry, including “scary looking” AK47s, AR15s, Uzis, and the like, often labeled “Assault Weapons.” These are used by the military because they are effective. Why would civilians desire to keep and bear weapons that are less than effective in defense of home, person, property or defending the State when called upon? They are also used by citizens to great effect to protect themselves from gang raids, as witness in the 1990s LA Riots and the recent Katrina Hurricane Aftermath. Who knows when or where the next catastrophe will occur and call citizens to defend themselves in large numbers?

The Failure of the “Assault Weapon Ban”

Between 1994 and 2004, the United States outlawed the new manufacture or importation of certain cosmetic firearms and components, known as the “Assault Weapons Ban” (AWB). In summary, this law was a complete and expensive failed experiment and an infringement on our Federal Rights. So called “Assault Weapons” pose no practical threat to society as the Diane Feinsteins and Ted Kennedys of the world would have you believe. The cosmetic features banned by the AWB were detachable magazines, pistol grips, collapsible stocks, flash suppressors and bayonets. None of these features make a firearm more or less deadly because weapons banned were no more responsible for crime than any other variable or weapon. It is the person wielding the tool, not the tool itself. As such, the ban was a clear total failure, was costly during its decade of oppression, and was costly to the anti-gun Democratic party (who lost dozens of seats in Congress and two elections on the “gun control” issue). When will leaders understand that Americans, by and large, don’t want gun control. We live in a free nation, let’s start paving the way toward freedom.

Besides this point, these bans violate individual rights guaranteed under our nation and states’ founding documents, the US Constitution and various state Constitutions, including Colorado’s. When you, as Denver City Council man or woman, accepted your position of authority, you took an oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution. You should take that oath seriously and begin upholding the Colorado Constitution by removing this silly ordinance from the law and begin allowing law abiding citizens of Denver to exercise their rights under State and Federal laws.

leadcounsel
June 11, 2006, 05:59 PM
Violent Crimes in America

It is well documented that the most dangerous places in America, and the places with the highest murder and violent crime rates in America, are large cities like New York, Los Angelas, San Franciso, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Chicago. These cities are also the cities located in states with the strictest gun control laws. Each of these cities experience rampant murder rates, rape rates, and violent crime rates, yet they try addressing their problems through stricter gun control measures. It is no coincidence that the tighter the gun control laws, the higher the murder and violent crime rates. This is because of the simple fact that criminals prefer to prey on unarmed victims. When you take away legitimate self defense by disarming citizens through gun control measures, expect that murder and crime rates will increase.

Conversely, many cities including Denver enjoy relatively low murder and violent crime rates. This is clearly because Denver and Colorado have relaxed firearm laws. As evidenced by the passage of the “Shall Issue” concealed carry laws, violent crime rates have decreased since 2004. As states have learned in the last decade, this is the case throughout the nation. States and cities with relaxed gun laws, which honor a citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms, are safer cities and states. Therefore, guns save lives.

The anti-gun crowd often asks, “Why does a person need an “Assault Weapon” with a 30 round magazine?” In times of national or local disaster, roving gangs prey on the weak and unarmed. This is precisely a reason why a person needs an “Assault Weapon” with a “30 round magazine.” During the LA riots in the 1990s and as we recently witnessed in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when disaster strikes law abiding citizens must resort to using these same weapons to effectively protect themselves, their families, and their homes from the raids by roving armed gangs of hoodlums, thieves, rapists, and murders. Because law enforcement is absent or ineffective or outnumbered, citizens often must defend themselves against gangs which are organized, armed and violent. Citizens must have access to the best equipment to protect themselves in these situations and civil war muskets are insufficient to fend off gangs of violent criminals. Many of these citizens protected themselves effectively with “assault weapons” with “high capacity” magazines. Finally, the reasons given in support of the “Assault Weapon” ban in Denver are unsupported and inconsistent with national statistics. Citizens are significantly SAFER when they have access to effective self defense tools, including “Assault Weapons.” Citizens are significantly handicapped when only criminals have access to “Assault Weapons.” By banning “Assault Weapons,” you effectively make it LESS SAFE for citizens in Denver. The old adage is true, when you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. Do you really want to leave law abiding citizen unable to effectively protect themselves?

Conclusion

The City Council should repeal the law outlawing “Assault Weapons” for a variety of reasons. First, it violates the rights granted under the wisdom of our forefathers in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution, which has been interpreted by the Department of Justice as an individual right to keep and bear arms. You should pay attention to the wisdom of our national forefathers. Secondly, the right of no person to keep and bear arms will not be called into question for Colorado residents according to the Colorado Constitution, Article II Section 13. This, too, is and individual right and you should pay attention to the wisdom of our Colorado forefathers. Thirdly, as a council person, you’ve taken an oath to uphold the Colorado Constitution. You should take that oath seriously. By placing a ban on certain firearms, you are violating your oath to uphold state law and will be subject to impeachment. Finally, these arbitrary “feel good” measures have no significant decrease on violent crime and only affect and harass law abiding armed citizens who are compelled to move outside the city to exercise their rights, leaving only armed criminals behind (who won’t move, won’t follow the law, and continue to prey on the increasing percentage of unarmed, ala the cities with the highest crime rates in the US). This results in the city and county of Denver losing law abiding armed residents who are educated entrepreneurs, business men, attorneys, blue collar workers, etc in large scale.

I request that you come to your senses, follow the aged wisdom of our national and state forefathers who have come before you, and follow your oath of office by repealing this senseless ban on “assault weapons.”

Sincerely,

A Concerned Denver Resident

AZRickD
June 11, 2006, 07:44 PM
It was a three-three tie because one of the Justices recused himself because he was formerly the attorney which argued the case for the state.

Bummer.

Integrity sucks.

Rick

leadcounsel
June 12, 2006, 01:49 PM
What really sucks is leaders who take the oath to uphold the constitution and then refuse to follow their oath.

tulsamal
June 12, 2006, 05:55 PM
I'm visiting family in the Denver area right now. I heard the city had some strange laws so I left the AK and AR at home. But this decision doesn't affect the CO CCW law, does it? I'm currently carrying my S&W M296 up here with my OK CCW card in my wallet. Hopefully nobody is going to take me away in a squad car!!

Gregg

leadcounsel
June 12, 2006, 10:22 PM
Gregg,
Provided your license is recognized you won't have a problem with your CCW.

www.packing.org for reference on who recognized which license.

Ryan

Moonchigger
June 12, 2006, 11:13 PM
well crap, I'm moving to Denver within the month to go to University of Denver College of Law starting in the fall. All this time I thought Colorado was just kind of like Texas but wiht mountains, guess not.

I'm also planning on getting my first ccw, we shall see how that goes...

leadcounsel
June 12, 2006, 11:25 PM
Denver has kinda gone nuts with the local ordinances. No pit bulls, an assault weapon and hi cap ban, etc.

Just move outside Denver, in the south.

BTW, I am an alum from DU law. I DON"T recommend it and I"m not alone. PM me and I'll tell you why if you're interested.

HowardC
June 12, 2006, 11:35 PM
As I read it, he allowed some of the state issues, like park carry with CCW, and CCW itself. But, did uphold the city assault ban, etc.
Packing.org has the differences posted as of last October. Typical half on, half off type of deal. They always have to make it way more complicated than necessary. But, as a Denver judge, could you expect anything else?
And, the Colorado Supreme Court left the waters muddied. Typical for lawyers, as I see it.
-HowardC

Reno
June 12, 2006, 11:38 PM
Denver is a rogue city, looking for people to make criminals and completely ignoring "the will of the people." When it comes to guns, Denver cries "home rule." When it comes to marijuana, Denver cries "state law says it's still illegal!"

Nonsense.

foghornl
June 13, 2006, 09:10 AM
Since Denver is so much in love with "Home Rule", then the city SHOULD NOT GET ANY FED OR STATE MONEY...

Let them live or die with "Home Rule"...:evil:

mountainclmbr
June 13, 2006, 01:13 PM
What if I CCW in Denver with valid CO permit with my Para Ordnance P12.45 which has a 12 rd magazine?

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