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(CO) Court weighs city's ability to write local firearms laws

Discussion in 'Legal' started by jimpeel, Dec 9, 2005.

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  1. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3288393

    Article Launched: 12/08/2005 01:00:00 AM


    denver & the west
    Court weighs city's ability to write gun laws

    Uniformity is needed, the state tells the justices, but Denver says it should be able to pass its own laws as its crime rate is higher.

    By Howard Pankratz
    Denver Post Staff Writer




    The city of Denver told the Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday that it wants to protect its citizens by being able to write its own gun laws.

    But the state of Colorado said the laws should be written by the state legislature to provide gun-legislation consistency and to avoid a hodgepodge of regulations written by home-rule cities such as Denver.

    The arguments were heard by the justices and about 600 students at Arapahoe High School.

    The justices are expected to rule within the next two months.

    At issue was a November 2004 ruling by Denver District Judge Joseph Meyer III that allows Denver to regulate assault weapons, "Saturday night specials" and the open carrying of guns despite the state of Colorado's claim that legislation passed in 2003 stripped the city of that power.

    Meyer concluded that while the state has an interest in the regulation of firearms to protect the constitutional right of a person to keep and bear arms, that right is not absolute.

    He said home-rule cities such as Denver may enact gun regulations if such regulations are a reasonable exercise of the government's police power. Meyer's ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court.

    During the arguments, Colorado Solicitor General Allison Eid, representing the state, and Denver Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell went at it.

    Broadwell argued that for years, Denver has regulated firearms. He said home-rule cities should be able to implement their own regulations because of the unique characteristics of each. In Denver, for instance, strict gun laws were implemented because the city suffers rates of violent crime above state averages.

    "In an urban environment, different regulations apply," Broadwell said.

    The argument is about whether a person can walk around downtown Denver with a loaded firearm, he said.

    Denver has ripped the state legislature, saying that in 2003, it passed far- reaching laws that gutted local firearms regulations by declaring gun laws to be a matter of "statewide concern." By using that phrase, the legislature trumped the ability of cities such as Denver to pass their own gun ordinances.

    But Eid said it is imperative that there be uniformity of gun laws in the state.

    Eid argued that with a wide array of gun laws, citizens don't know their rights when traveling in Colorado. In one city, their actions may be lawful; in another, unlawful. Eid told the justices the case is similar to the one where the legislature imposed statewide uniformity in the use of photo-radar systems over the objections of four home-rule cities.

    "In photo radar, we weren't dealing with a constitutional right. In this case, we are," she said.
     
  2. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    How can a city pass a law if the state has explicitly preempted it from doing so?

    Miami tried to fit a gun discharge bill in a few years ago and got smacked down hard. NRA v City of South Miami or somesuch. Unless Colorado wrote a very different sort of preemption into law, I predict similar results.
     
  3. duckslayer

    duckslayer Member

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    Never underestimate the craziness of judges with an agenda.
     
  4. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    It happened in Toledo, OH.
     
  5. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Its called "Home Rule" ... its a debate that's been going on in Colorado since it became a state.
     
  6. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Home rule cities, and especially Denver, consider themselves exempt from state laws and the state Constitution. Denver stated such when they passed a law that they could seize the vehicles of citizens carrying a firearm in their car even though the Constitution states that we can carry a firearm in our car for lawful protection while traveling.
     
  7. One of Many

    One of Many Member

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    If Denver wants to be a separate entity from the state of Colorado, then they should be willing to give up all of the money they get from the state. The state should put a wall around the city, and put a gate on the North/South/East/West sides that all traffic must pass through, with a toll for all vehicles passing through the gates, and tariffs on all goods passing through the gates. Let Denver see just how independent they really are, when they have to pay more for their food, clothing and fuel.

    I used to own a house in Denver, and worked out in the county. There is no way I would stay in Denver under the set of circumstances I described above. I remember that within a two week period, there was a fatal shooting at a bar a couple of blocks from my house, and an elderly homeowner was killed during a home invasion a couple of blocks away on the other side. I lived in one of the safer areas of Denver at the time. When I changed jobs and had to be away from home for an extended period of time, I bought my wife a revolver and took her to a shooting range so she would be prepared to defend herself and the kids.

    Denver politicians have always thought more highly of themselves than their deeds warrant.
     
  8. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    The Colorado Supreme Court holds its sessions in a High School?

    Who presides, Justice Goober, or Justice Ellie Mae? Maybe Granny makes everyones robs?

    j/k, but found it funny.
     
  9. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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  10. Reno

    Reno Member

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    Is there any legal justification for Denver being a "home rule" city? Say, something in the CO state constitution (or otherwise on the books). Or is Denver just saying "yeah, we're home rule, try and stop us?" I've lived in CO for over 13 years now and have never seen anything about it.
     
  11. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Its in the Colorado Constitution.

    article XIV, section 16



    So I guess when I said its been an issue since statehood I over stated the case ... its only been since '72

    The whole Colorado Constitution can be found here http://www.helplinelaw.com/law/usa-colorado/constitution/constitution.php
     
  12. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    1. Pass a law.

    2. Find a tame leftist extremist judge to say it's okay.

    3. Whine about it at the top of your lungs if anyone dares challenge you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2005
  13. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    The liberals try to use the words "home rule" as if it gives them the right to usurp the State Constitution. They play the words as if they meant something by themselves.

    The primary function of home rule is to allow a city to charge taxes and own the budget generated from those and some other taxes in the home rule jurisdiction.

    If the SC rules according the the wishes of the people, they will toss the notion that Denver is somehow different from the rest of the State.
     
  14. Reno

    Reno Member

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    Thanks for that, I see the basis of their claims now but I must be missing the part that says "home rule" cities can ignore the rest of the state constitution and all state laws.
     
  15. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Denver, Boulder and Aspen are pockets of leftist insanity in an otherwise sane state. The more Kalifornian immigrants that take up residence in these cities tip the balance more and more toward insanity.
     
  16. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Member

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    I second the assertion that it is the wacko elements moving here from PRK that are ruining Colorado.
     
  17. Billll

    Billll Member

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    The Colo constitution has had home rule provisos in it from the start. There was a lawsuit recently (Rick Stanly, I believe) that brought this out, and the first assertation that the state constitution didn't apply to denver was back in 1907. Since then the city has won pretty consistantly, and it's a given around here that whatever the state says, it's gonna be different in Denver. Maybe stricter, maybe looser, but always different, and you won't know what untill you get the ticket.
     
  18. The-Fly

    The-Fly Member

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    and people wonder why i wont visit denver unless i have no choice.
     
  19. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    I'm from the PRK and I left because of the idiocy there. I'm sure that I'm not the only sane Californian who came here.
     
  20. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    We also have our share of conservative (and down right "Rightwinger") Californians who have moved here as well ... Focus on the Family escaped California to move to Colorado Springs.
     
  21. hkOrion

    hkOrion Member

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    You can listen to the arguments here. You would think that the people hearing the case would do a little background research and understand the wording of the law. The questions these idiots ask is beyond my comprehension. Maybe I should run for a .gov seat.
     
  22. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'm not originally from California, but did leave the People's Republic of California in 2002 for Colorado.
     
  23. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    The link -- she-sa no work. There is an extra http:// in the addy. It should be:

    http://www.courts.state.co.us/supct/oraldock/2005/dec2005.htm

    The direct link is mms://www.courts.state.co.us/supctoralarguments/051207_04sa396.wma but you will have to copy n paste it into the address bar. It is 1:05:58 long.
     
  24. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    "In an urban environment, different regulations apply," Broadwell said.

    Too true, which is why I avoid living in cities!

    jmm
     
  25. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    There is a followup case which was mentioned in the case in question that was argued the next day. Stephen Halbrook argued the case for Sternberg. The link below mustr be copy n pasted into the address window.

    John A. Sternberg v. City and County of Denver

    mms://www.courts.state.co.us/supctoralarguments/051208_05sa22.wma
     
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