The 2011 legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 11. During this session, three pro-gun bills - Senate Bill 53, Senate Bill 77 and House Bill 1205 - were defeated in the designated Senate “kill committee” which has predictably defeated pro-Second Amendment bills by partisan 3 to 2 votes during the past several years. Senate Bill 53 would have eliminated the authority of the governor to suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms during a state of disaster/emergency. House Bill 1205 would have allowed residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit as long as they were legally eligible to purchase and possess a firearm. Senate Bill 77 would have rectified the noticeable omission of businesses in current self-defense law. Senate Bill 208, legislation in which the NRA remained neutral, passed in both chambers and is now awaiting action by Governor John Hickenlooper.
Senate Bill 53 was voted down by a partisan 3 to 2 vote in the
Senate Bill 77 was defeated in the
House Bill 1205 was also defeated in the
Despite this, the NRA will continue to urge lawmakers and the Governor to support this pro-gun legislation in
On May 6, Senate Bill 208 passed in the state House, with amendments, by a 49 to 14 vote. The state Senate concurred with the House amendments on May 9 and this bill is awaiting action by Governor Hickenlooper. The House amendments would ensure that monies are expended consistent with the purposes for which they are received, collected, or appropriated. Sponsored by state Senators Gail Schwartz (D-5) and Mary Hodge (D-25), SB 208 will combine State Parks and the Division of Wildlife under the Department of Natural Resources.
The NRA remained neutral on this legislation, but expressed detailed concerns about this merger in an e-mailed letter to lawmakers on the committee. We were very clear that our primary interest is that dollars collected from hunters be used solely for the benefit of hunters. Specifically, sportsmen pay license fees and federal excise taxes on guns, ammunition and certain hunting equipment. Those funds are then returned to the state. Any allocation of those dollars to non-hunter related activities would put the state in diversion and jeopardize those federal monies.
We also have concerns that any newly established boards or commissions having a membership beyond the hunting community may approve policies adverse to hunting and sportsmen. For example, in some states, we have seen public land use closures and lead ammunition bans, among others, that negatively impact hunters despite the disproportionate share of funds contributed from sportsmen.
Unfortunately, we have witnessed issues such as the aforementioned in a handful of states where departments and agencies were consolidated. Just this year in
Thank you to all of the NRA members who took the time to contacts their