Here is a synopsis for those interested in Colorado’s gun laws. Interestingly, Colorado does not require guns to be registered, gun owners to be licensed, fingerprinted or undergo a background check. While I am not suggesting that this horrific massacre could have been avoided had Colorado had stricter gun measures, it is nevertheless illuminating:
Thursday’s deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo., has already reignited a debate about gun control, with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urging President Obama and likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney to take a stand. And just as the Trayvon Martin shooting prompted a reexamination of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, the Aurora massacre could lead to more scrutiny of Colorado’s laws. Here’s a primer.
Concealed weapons are permitted with the proper permits — including on college campuses, thanks to a State Supreme Court ruling in March that a University of Colorado policy prohibiting concealed weapons was unconstitutional. A concealed weapon permit issued in another state is still valid in Colorado, provided that state also recognizes permits carried by traveling Coloradoans.
Registration of guns is not required — or allowed — in Colorado. The state does not require gun owners to obtain a license, be fingerprinted or undergo safety checks.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, residents can carry loaded or unloaded firearms in their vehicles “if its use is for lawful protection of such a person or another person’s property,” but transporting a concealed gun “into your home, business, hotel room, etc.” is prohibited.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Colorado 15 points out of a possible 100 in 2011, although that still gives Colorado stronger gun control laws than many other states by the organization’s standards.
Republicans in the Colorado legislature introduced several measures to roll back gun regulations this year, including requiring gun buyers to submit to a background check using the state’s Insta-Check system and a so-called Make My Day Better bill (an expansion of an existing Make My Day law) that would have made it more difficult to prosecute businesses that deter intruders with deadly force. Both measures passed the Colorado House but foundered in the Senate.
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