Guns for Everyone may be one of the most effective 2A organizations that most gun owners have never heard of. On today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co, co-founder Edgar Antillon shared that the group has given free concealed carry instruction to more than 100,000 folks in Colorado since its founding in 2010, and while those efforts continue, the organization is also trying to get a voter referendum on the ballot in Colorado next year that would make it clear that cannabis use, which is legal in the state, isn’t a disqualifying factor for those applying for a concealed carry license.
Antillon and fellow co-founder Isaac Chase recently sat down for a hearing with the Legislative Council Staff and Office of Legislative Legal Services to go over the proposed language of their referendum, and Antillon says after making some minor changes to their petition the group is hoping to get the green light to start collecting signatures sometime next month. Once the Colorado Secretary of State approves the proposed referendum, Guns for Everyone will have six months to collect almost 125,000 signatures from valid Colorado voters, though Antillon tells Bearing Arms that he’s hoping to get well beyond that bare minimum figure.
This isn’t the first time that the group has tried to put similar language before the voters, but Antillon believes that they failed to get enough signatures last time around because Colorado had only recently legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Now that time has passed, Antillon thinks the voting public will be much more receptive to the idea, though he’s still anticipating opposition from the gun control lobby and even some gun owners.
“It happened last time as well,” Antillon shared. “There were some gun groups here in Colorado who were vocal about not supporting our decision to move forward with this stuff, so we’re expecting to hear from anti-gunners and unfortunately, expecting some people who support gun ownership to push back because of the marijuana issue.”
I don’t think you have to support marijuana legalization to agree that in states where it has been legalized cannabis use shouldn’t disqualify individuals from keeping or bearing arms. As Antillon says, it’s perfectly acceptable for people to consume alcohol without losing access to their Second Amendment rights, so why shouldn’t that also be the case in those states where cannabis is treated as roughly akin to intoxicating spirits?
That argument resonates with me, but we’ll have to wait and see how amenable Colorado voters are to Guns for Everyone’s proposal. It may very well be that the same dynamic that’s stymied legislation on Capitol Hill will stand in the way of putting this referendum on the ballot; Democrats who don’t want to do anything that could be seen as pro-gun, and Republicans who don’t want to support a position that could be viewed as pro-drug. On the other hand, if Antollin is right that Colorado still has a libertarian streak amidst its turn toward a progressive ideology, then a diverse coalition across the political spectrum may give Guns for Everyone the support they need to at least put this measure before voters.
Check out the entire conversation with Edgar Antillon of Guns for Everyone in the video window below, and stay tuned for another discussion with Edgar in the new year; this one focusing on the group’s efforts at providing firearms training south of the border in Mexico. That’s a fascinating story in its own right, and I’m looking forward to learning more the next time we sit down together.