Hot Sheet

Old enough to fight overseas, old enough to conceal-carry at home?

Author: Dan Njegomir - February 14, 2017 - Updated: June 6, 2017

It’s a judgment call, of course. But here’s a sure thing: GOP-backed Senate Bill 6 is Republican enough — overwhelmingly so —  that it will meet its doom as soon as it leaves the Senate and enters the Democratic-controlled House.

The bill, introduced into the upper chamber by former Weld County Sheriff John Cooke, now a state senator from Greeley, would lower the statewide minimum age for obtaining a Colorado concealed-weapons permit from 21 to 18 for anyone “on active duty in, or honorably discharged from, any branch or reserve branch of the United States military forces, including the National Guard.” The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday and now goes to the full Senate for further consideration.

Skeptics might question whether veterans have greater personal-security needs than the rest of Colorado’s population as a whole. Those same skeptics might wonder, as well, if the bill isn’t more about politics than personal security — about burnishing GOP credentials with veterans and gun-rights activists while forcing legislative Democrats to vote in essence “against the military” when they inevitably vote against the bill.

Yet supporters contend there’s a bona fide need for the measure. Here’s a press statement from the Senate GOP Monday:

“We trust our highly-skilled young service men and women to defend us abroad, it makes no sense that we revoke their right to self-defense when they are here in Colorado,” said Cooke. “This is a commonsense step to strengthening liberty and allowing those who defend our freedom, to apply for a permit and go through a background check just like any other Coloradan who wants to defend themselves or their family.

 

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.