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Lets Just Amend the Colorado Constitution!

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by coloradokevin, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Well-Known Member

    Okay, why this idea hasn't occurred to me until now I'm not quite sure, but here are my thoughts on settling this state-level gun debate once and for all:

    Instead of dealing with the ever present threat of a hostile legislature attacking our gun rights, lets amend our state's constitution to add language that would guarantee that state-level gun laws will be no more restrictive than existing federal regulations.

    Some of you may laugh at this idea, but consider the following:

    1) The Colorado constitution is open for amendment by popular vote, providing that the people seeking the amendment gain a sufficient number of signatures to have the issue placed on the ballot during the next election cycle (it looks like the current requirement is 86,105 signatures to have the issue added to a ballot).

    2) Colorado gun owners are still active voters, and heavily involved in grassroots activism, so getting these signatures should be possible, provided we have enough people involved to make it happen.

    3) Citizen-initiated amendments do happen successfully here in Colorado. I mean, seriously, they even legalized marijuana through such an initiative here this year (Amendment 64).

    4) By adding such language to our state's constitution we could probably have a winnable item on the ballot: gun owners would embrace it, and most reasonable folks would not have a problem with simply ensuring that our state-level laws were no more restrictive than federal law.

    5) Colorado still has a lot of very pro-gun people, in a state that is rich with a pro-gun culture. We lost our footing in one election cycle, and we're currently being attacked at the statehouse. But, if the debate over the pending laws have shown us anything, it is that there are still loads of 2nd Amendment supporters here in Colorado.

    Here's some information on what is required to make this happen:


    So, how do we make this all happen for us? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure, but the idea seems viable.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    1) Clearly we'd need the support of some gun owner groups (ex: NRA, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, etc) to make this happen, but I don't see why they'd be opposed to it. Seriously, if a bunch of pot-heads could make it happen this year, why can't we?

    2) If groups like the NRA are willing to put some money into this issue, paid petitioners are also allowed to help collect signatures. Additionally, we can each get the word out at our local gun stores, ranges, gun shows and other shooting-related venues. For example, I bet I could get hundreds of signatures per day at the local Sportsman's Warehouse, and the range I belong to already has 1,000 member families. Plus, with the buying frenzy at the moment, it won't be hard to find concerned gun owners at each and every one of these venues.

    3) We could encourage involvement by pro-gun legislators in this state. For example, though he doesn't represent my district, Senator Brophy has sent me quite a few very pro-gun e-mails in response to my many letters to our legislators. If someone like him was willing to join this fight, he could get word out to a LOT of gun owners who have already contacted him in recent months.

    4) As a cautionary note, we would also want to be careful in our language in such a bill. We want to preserve our rights, but we want to be sure we are seen as the reasonable folks we are by the many fence-sitters we have in this state. As such, that's why I recommend that we appeal to their reasonableness by drafting an amendment that explains that we'll simply ensure that our laws are no more restrictive than federal laws (which is the way things should be on 2nd Amendment issues anyway).
  2. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Well-Known Member

    Also, it appears that it is possible for Colorado citizens to "veto" the new laws. The process is similar to the amendment process I described above. I think the amendment idea would carry a more lasting effect, and give us greater protections, but I suppose there isn't any reason that both could be done.
  3. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    I've been thinking along those same lines.

    I've also been thinking about an amendment to require a supermajority to pass new laws.
  4. Frank44

    Frank44 Well-Known Member

    It's a shame what is happening in CO. It used to be such a gun friendly state. This is happening in other states where people of Liberal philosophy move there and change laws. I think gun owners just have to speak up like never before and realize that complacency is just not an option anymore. I think your ideas have validity and wish you the best!
  5. Arbo

    Arbo Well-Known Member

    just checking into this thread so I don't miss anything... need to go back and read the links when I get a chance. I'm all for this idea, and it is very much doable.. 85k signatures from gun owners? Not a problem.

    Will research once I have time, perhaps we can put something together here, or has out ideas.

    I want to do something... and I'm from the western side of the state, so our 'people' already stand with us on this issue, so I need to figure out how to be of assistance for the sickly blue parts of the state.
  6. BK

    BK Well-Known Member

    In every venture, you have to think through the worst case scenario. Are you prepared to have your fellow state residents crush the initiative? Because you know millions of dollars will pour in from outside of Colorado to canvas all forms of media in an effort to destroy the initiative. They might outspend all the gun rights groups combined and hand the gun owners of Colorado a resounding defeat. Or would it be better to wait until the Republicans gain back control and use the mandate to swing the pendulum all the way back to Constitutional Carry?
  7. Arbo

    Arbo Well-Known Member

    You are assuming the (R)'s can gain back control... there is still going to be a boatload of money pouring in to support the (D)'s that voted for this crap.
  8. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    In 15 years I have never seen so many people in Colorado so mad. They have awakened a sleeping giant.
  9. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Well-Known Member

    Well, it doesn't really matter who holds the political offices when completing such an amendment: the issue is put before the Colorado voters, and they decide its fate. Personally, I think we've got better odds of pulling it off this year than we will in another ten years, when more Californians (and now pot-heads seeking a refuge) have moved to Colorado for a better lifestyle. And, as Zak pointed out, people are angry right now. Are we 51% of all registered voters angry? I honestly can't say, but try buying anything at a gun store in this state and you'll see how high the demand is right now.

    Once again, if we want a hope of getting this measure passed, it will require careful wording so as to satisfy our needs without agitating fence sitters who think it is unreasonably gun-friendly. That's why I suggested something along the lines of: "no gun control restrictions will be passed in Colorado that are more restrictive than federal gun control laws". Such a statement would mean that if it is allowed elsewhere in America, it would be allowed here. But, it wouldn't force us to follow the feds in lock-step, either. Again, I'm not a lawyer, and the idea needs some polishing, but I think it could go somewhere!

    As far as your other concern, I absolutely agree that we could be facing a massive PR battle as we attempt to pass such an amendment. Bloomberg, the Brady Bunch, the VPC, and other deep-pocketed anti-gun groups would surely flood our state with out-of-state money to fight against our rights. I believe the only way to pass such an amendment would be to respond with political ads to counter their offensive. Of course, history has shown that voters on the Democrat side will often cross party lines when gun rights are threatened. In light of what happened this week, many of these folks may be immune to the negative ads. But, we'd still need them to be informed about the rationale behind such an amendment, and the benefits it would provide to all gun owners, and all of our citizens who support 2nd Amendment rights.
  10. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    How about we begin picking our candidate for governor?

    Greg Brophy?
    Vicki Marble?
    Owen Hill?

    It's quite possible that the legislature will turn completely over because of what happened this very week. What I'd like to see is a governor that would spearhead the repeal of so much of Hickenlooper's junk.
  11. mrvco

    mrvco Well-Known Member

    2014 or 2016, I can make an argument for either one. I think that a well-worded citizen-led ballot initiative could certainly work.
  12. Koreth

    Koreth Member

    From my initial impression of Greg Brophy from his Senate speech, I could get behind him as governor.

    If we could get permission and support from the owners, our local gun stores and shooting ranges would be a good place to get petition signatures. Every time I've been to a range or gun store recently, they have been very busy.
  13. My heart sincerely goes out to Colorado, as I lived there for several years, and have many shooting and hunting buddies there. I'm almost teared up right now as it is breaking my heart. Fight those bastards to the end. Make them want to leave the state before it's over.
  14. Rio Laxas

    Rio Laxas Well-Known Member

    From what I saw in the one-sided debate, any one of them would make a good candidate. Though I think there would likely be the perception that Owen Hill lacks experience, since I believe this is his first term.
  15. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Sen Hill is an extremely good speaker and made some very subtle points. I do agree he could probably use some more experience.
  16. Rio Laxas

    Rio Laxas Well-Known Member

    How about Kevin Lundberg? He seemed to be hinting that he may be considering higher office at times during the debate.
  17. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Well-Known Member

    I would vote for Brophy. I haven't met or heard the other suggested ones.
  18. Arbo

    Arbo Well-Known Member

  19. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    Hickenlooper was on with Mike Rosen today:
    I missed it but can't wait to hear what was asked/said.
  20. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

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