Colorado Democrats are aiming to end the ability of school districts to vet and train volunteer staffers who are willing and ready to serve as a first line of defense in the case of an active assailant attack on campus; a policy that’s in place in dozens of schools around the state.
That prohibition is just one part of a bill being drafted that would also create a number of new “gun-free zones” in the state, including repealing the state’s campus carry law that has been in place for more than a decade.
The bill is still in draft form and is subject to change, but as written it tramples all over the rights of lawful Coloradans to bear arms in defense of themselves and others by barring concealed carry in the following locations:
- Public parks and playgrounds
- Recreational and community centers
- Public property where a “public gathering” or assembly is taking place (and adjacent streets)
- Healthcare facilities
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Houses of worship (without express permission by the operating authority
- Amusement parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, water parks, and carnivals/fairs
- Any property owned or leased by local governments (and adjacent grounds)
- Public libraries
- Daycares and preschools
- Public and private universities and colleges
- Within 100 feet of both polling locations and drop boxes
The draft legislation would also explicitly repeal current state law allowing a concealed carry holder to have their gun with them when they drop off or pick up their kids from school, so long as the handgun remains in their vehicle, as well as the Colorado law that permits a concealed carry holder to serve as a school security officer; a policy that many rural school districts and smaller schools have adopted as an added layer of security for both students and staff.
Again, there’s been no problem with the current policy, and FASTER Colorado has no shortage of school districts and employees who are interested in putting their own security teams in place. This isn’t just an attack on the right to keep and bear arms. It’s a measure that would make students less safe and secure when they’re on campus.
Over the past decade, as Colorado’s Democratic majority has imposed numerous gun control measures from “universal” background checks to “red flag” laws, violent crime in the state has only gotten worse, and now anti-gun lawmakers want to make it virtually impossible for lawful gun owners to protect themselves in most public settings outside of a few city streets and sidewalks.
Many of these proposed “sensitive places” have already been struck down by courts around the country as well, but that’s not stopping lawmakers from trying to impose new no-go zones for gun owners. And though we already know that no violent criminal is going to be dissuaded by a sign that says “no guns allowed”, the draft legislation would make it a low-level misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $250 for a first offense ($1000 for subsequent offenses). That’s hardly a compelling reason for criminals to leave their guns behind when targeting victims in a public park or at an ATM. Frankly, I’m not even sure it would stop most concealed carry holders from carrying in those locations, but those who would be most likely to abide by the proposed “gun-free zones” would be those Coloradans with limited financial means who couldn’t easily afford to pay a fine for exercising their fundamental right to bear arms.
Again, this language is only a draft proposal at the moment, but with longtime anti-gun politicians like Rep. Tom Sullivan helping to craft the legislation I can’t imagine the bill is going to look much better when it’s formally introduced. Colorado Democrats are doing everything they can to turn the state into East California, and gun owners don’t need to wait for this draft legislation to be filed to contact their representatives and senators to demand they oppose these proposed infringements.