State proposal would allow concealed carry with no permit |

State proposal would allow concealed carry with no permit

DENVER — The Colorado Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a measure allowing adults 21 and older to carry a concealed gun without a permit.

The proposal is a priority for Republicans newly in charge of the Senate. The proposal faces certain defeat in the Colorado House, which is still controlled by Democrats.

Still, Republicans made arguments Wednesday for why Colorado should make concealed-carry permits optional.

“It allows those who obey the law to protect their families, their businesses, without a permit from the state of Colorado,” said Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton.

Republicans said that current requirements to get a permit — including handgun education — are inappropriate for a constitutional right.

The requirements, passed in 2003, also bar concealed carry permits to anyone who “chronically and habitually uses alcoholic beverages to the extent that the applicant’s normal facilities are impaired.”

“I think it’s insulting to the people of Colorado,” said Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, and sponsor of the bill.

Republicans pointed out that criminal background checks are already required of gun purchases, making additional screenings superfluous.

“You are worth trusting because you passed that background check,” Marble said.

Democrats argued against the bill in the Senate but did not have the votes to block it.

“This bill will allow alcoholics to carry concealed, loaded guns in public,” said Sen. Michael Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs.

Under the bill, concealed carry permits would still be issued for gun owners who want to leave the state.

The measure won initial approval on a voice vote and faces one more procedural vote before heading to the House.

Democrats in the House have already rejected several GOP attempts to loosen gun-control measures.

Wyoming repealed concealed-carry permit requirements in 2011.

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