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Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 8, 20183min798
The Colorado Senate gave a narrow passage to “constitutional carry” — carrying a concealed weapon without a permit — Thursday morning, one of the last gun bills filed so far this session. The Republican legislation likely faces the same outcome other gun bills have received in the Democratic -led House: certain defeat. Senate Bill 97 […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 5, 20185min1204
The Colorado Senate gave preliminary approval to a gun bill Monday that would do away with concealed carry permits in the state. Republicans have a one-seat edge in the Senate, so when the recorded vote happens in the next few days, they should have enough lift to send Senate Bill 97 to the House. The […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningDecember 9, 20175min1711

State Rep. Steve Lebsock, the Thornton Democrat facing complaints he sexually harassed a fellow lawmaker and a former lobbyist, on Friday chastised social media denizens who've been heaping criticism on state Rep. Lori Saine, the Firestone Republican arrested and jailed this week at Denver International Airport for bringing a loaded handgun to a security checkpoint.


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Peter MarcusPeter MarcusJuly 31, 20172min530

The number of concealed carry handgun permits in Colorado jumped 56 percent in recent months, according to a recent report.

Under President Obama, concealed handgun permits grew — a reaction to concerns that the administration would push a heavy gun control agenda. Permits grew to more than 16 million under Obama, underscoring a 256 percent increase since 2007.

Interest, however, continues to grow under President Trump, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, which conducted the study released earlier this month. Some gun-makers and dealers feared a drop because of Trump’s strong support of gun rights.

Colorado saw one of the highest increases in the country. With the recent surge, 9 percent of adults in Colorado now have a concealed carry permit, according to the report.

It highlighted that there were 248,478 permits in Colorado as of December 2016. There were 388,646 permits by April 30 of this year.

Nationally, handgun permits in the United States soared by 1.83 million since last July. The total number of permits in the country rose to 16.3 million. The study also found that the biggest increases were among women and blacks.

Nationally, concealed handgun permits are held by more than 6 percent of adults. Alabama, Indiana and South Dakota lead the pack, with 20 percent, 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Women account for 36 percent of the total number of permit holders nationally, according to CPRC. Only a handful of states, however, keep that specific data. In those states, between 2012 and 2016, they saw a 326 percent faster increase in permits among women than among men.

Of states that keep records on race, from 2012 to 2016, the number of blacks who have permits grew 30 percent faster than whites who have them.



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMay 15, 20175min320

Remember the GOP bill in the legislature that would have provided gun training to designated staffers with concealed-weapons permits on Colorado’s K-12 campuses? The one that was approved by the Republican-controlled state Senate but, as anticipated, never made it past a “kill committee” in the Democratic-dominated House?

Well, Coloradans for Civil Liberties isn’t about to let it drop. In a news release today, the group announced it will offer privately the same kind of training that the legislature declined to bless with its official imprimatur. Though the new effort may be a cheeky end-run on lawmakers, point person Laura Carno, contacted for comment, says it’s all above-board; state law already allows concealed-carry permit holders to pack heat on campus if the school approves.

An estimated dozen mostly rural school districts, including the small Hanover School District 28 near Colorado Springs, have granted just such approval — essentially deputizing staff to enhance security given meager resources for full-time guards.

“It’s really up to the school,” Carno told us. Her group — whose motto is, “Restoring freedom one round at a time” — just wants to back up the credentials with some training.

“Current law has zero training requirements,” Carno said. “It just came down to if your school says it’s OK.”

That was basically the same argument made by Republican Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, who sponsored the ultimately unsuccessful Senate Bill 5. Democrats weren’t interested and said even if the eligible staffers had their school’s OK, it still would eventually lead to more guns on campus.

Though the House Democrats seemed to feel it was too radical a policy shift, Carno’s group — which is affiliated with the libertarian-leaning, Denver-based Independence Institute and partnering with it on the training program — points out similar efforts have passed muster in less gun-friendly climes. The news release explains that its inspiration in fact comes from the not-so-Wild-West state of Ohio:

Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) has been taught in Ohio for the past five years, training nearly 900 school staff members. FASTER was the brainchild of Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Tactical Defense Institute, both in Ohio. The curriculum includes skills to stop active shooter situations, as well as advanced medical training to deal with related injuries such as gunshot wounds.

Application for registration for the first class in June is open to school staff who already have their Concealed Handgun Permit (CHL) and who have already been approved as a school security officer, or who are in the process of being approved, by their school board or charter school board, the press release states.

The program at first will be offered in Greeley with the help of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and then will extend its reach statewide.

Some districts have a budget for such training; for faculty and staff from districts that don’t, there is a scholarship funded by concerned citizens, Carno says, to help defray the $1,000 tuition.

For more information, or to register for the FASTER class, go to FasterColorado.com.

Media questions? Contact Laura Carno at CO2ALiberties@gmail.com or 719-492-0211.