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Podcast on Colorado firearms preemption case:

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court announced that it was divided 3-3 on the appeal of a case involving Denver's challenge to the Colorado state law preempting some of Denver's anti-gun laws. As a result, the decision of the Denver District Judge stands: Denver may retain some of the gun laws (the "assault weapons" ban, the "Saturday Night Special ban," and the near-prohibition on the open carrying of firearms) which had been preempted by state law. The tie vote existed because after the retirement of Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis, the court vacancy was filled by Allison Eid. As Solicitor General for Colorado, Eid had argued the case on behalf of Colorado (and against the City of Denver) during oral argument in December, so Justice Eid recused herself from the decision of the case.

In a new podcast on iVoices.org, I explain the decision, and its ramifications. An Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder I wrote in 1999 explains the need for a Colorado preemption law. A 2003 Backgrounder details the limited preemption law (much less sweeping than similar laws in the overwhelming majority of states) which Colorado was about to enact. An Issue Paper from 1993 describes Denver's very repressive laws regarding juveniles and guns. (The preemption of some of the Denver laws, such as the ban on juveniles even touching guns under adult supervision, was upheld by the district court; one item raised in the Issue Paper--the overly broad definition of "weapon" was fixed at the behest of City Councilman Tim Sandos before the ordinance was enacted.) An op-ed by Donald DeKieffer illustrates the absurdity of Denver's juvenile laws.

A. Zarkov (mail):
Denver may retain some of the gun laws (the "assault weapons" ban, the "Saturday Night Special ban,"

I have never understood why governments want to ban "Saturday Night Specials," a euphemism for a cheap handguns. As a potential robbery victim, I would much rather face a cheap handgun (which might not even work), especially a 22 caliber, than the likely alternative, such as a sawed-off shotgun. Do they really think that the lack of cheap handguns is going to make a difference? Do they think criminals will say something like: "oh rats, I can't afford a good handgun, so I will use a knife instead?" Of course criminals are going to use cheap handguns if they can get them because the whole idea is to threaten, and a cheap gun does a fine job of that.
6.7.2006 8:49pm
Rhetorical Questioner:
If local governments should be allowed to make their own laws, in spite of what the state law says, should cities and counties in Colorado now be permitted to ignore the law requiring background checks on all fireams sales at gun shows (which closed the non-existant so-called "gun show loophole").

If not, why not?
6.7.2006 9:25pm
therut:
Cities again are shown to be oppressive places. We need the incorporation of the 2nd amendment under the 14th amendment and the protection of the Federal Courts. It is a disgrace.
6.7.2006 9:38pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Cities again are shown to be oppressive places.

Maybe cities are sane places that realize that real safety doesn't come in the form of easy availability of guns and everybody packing one. How about this--if you think cities are so dangerous that you don't feel safe being in one without carrying a firearm, then just stay at home. We don't need you roaming our streets seeing every shadow as a potential threat.
6.7.2006 10:26pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
Are there any actual studies of the effectiveness of banning saturday night specials or similar laws or all they all based on intuition and emotion?

I'm happy with laws restricting gun rights provided they actually work to significantly reduce crime. I even suspect a few laws like waiting periods might do just that (but I'm not sure) but it just seems ridiculous to restrict rights without good evidence that it will work (and no comparisions to places that have banned all guns don't count).

The assault weapons ban seems particularly sucpiscious to me but I don't know what the data says.
6.7.2006 10:43pm
Cornellian (mail):
I guess we don't favor the government that is closest to the people where guns are concerned.
6.8.2006 1:06am
therut:
Don't worry you will not see me even in a small city unless it is for a need to save my life. Been there and done that. However, never without a firearm. A woman would be a idiot to do so. Fender=======you now have one less reason to be paranoid.
6.8.2006 1:07am
therut:
Cornellian------Why should we. Is not the Federal Government espically the USSC supposed to secure and protect out rights in the BOR. You know remember the 14th amendment an incorporation.
6.8.2006 1:10am
A. Zarkov (mail):
If cities can enact their own gun regulation laws apart from the state they are in, then why not their own laws governing medical procedures? Berkeley California did exactly that about 15 or 20 years ago. It banned the use of electroshock therapy within the city limits. The State of California told Berkeley "no you can't do that," the state is supreme when it comes to the regulation of medical procedures. San Francisco in the era of Mayor Feinstein tried to ban guns outright. The city attorney said, "a ban is not regulation" so the state preemption on gun regulation doesn't apply. California told San Francisco "no you can't do that." Now San Francisco is at it again.
6.8.2006 2:12am
Bizarro Frederson:
Maybe some cities are insane places that believe that real safety comes in the form of restricted availability of guns and nobody packing one. How about this--if you think people who have passed a background check, etc., are so dangerous that you don't feel safe being in a city that doesn't restrict their firearm choices, then just stay at home. We don't need you roaming our streets seeing every law-abiding citizen as a potential threat.
6.8.2006 8:30am
Profiling Frederson:
Maybe police officers are sane people who that realize that real safety doesn't come in the form of ignoring the demographic realities of crime. How about this--if you think cops are so racist that you don't feel safe being in the presence of one because of your skin color, then just stay at home. We don't need your kind roaming our streets seeing every law enforcer as a potential threat.
6.8.2006 8:39am
Focus on the Frederson:
Maybe pro-life protestors are sane groups that realize that real choice doesn't come in the form of easy availability of abortions and everybody having easy access to one. How about this--if you think pro-life protestors are so dangerous that you don't feel safe being in their presence, then just stay at home. We don't need you going to the abortion clinics seeing every peaceful demonstrator as a potential threat.
6.8.2006 8:51am
George W. Frederson:
Maybe the N.S.A. is a sane organization that realizes that real safety doesn't come in the form of easy availability of telephones and everybody making unmonitored calls. How about this--if you think America is so opressive that you don't feel safe being in it without absolute privacy, then just leave. We don't need you living here seeing every anti-terorrism security measure as a potential threat to your freedom.
6.8.2006 8:59am
Freder Frederson (mail):
We don't need you roaming our streets seeing every law-abiding citizen as a potential threat.

Well since I am not carrying a gun (since I have lived in Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, and now in New Orleans and never felt the need to own, let alone carry a gun) I'm going to steer clear of the trigger happy "law-abiding" yokels who come into town ready to draw down on everybody who looks at them sideways or cuts them off in traffic. So I'm not a threat to anyone.

As for the other profiles and focus on me, you sure made a lot of assumptions about me. Although, I don't know how the NSA comparison even makes sense or why I would fear peaceful demonstrators in front of abortion clinics.
6.8.2006 10:28am
EricK:
Wow a lot of Frederson's today.
38 states are shall issue, and the people who are carrying have not shown to be trigger happy yokels.
I believe I have the right to self defense.
6.8.2006 11:46am
Freder Frederson (mail):
38 states are shall issue, and the people who are carrying have not shown to be trigger happy yokels.

While this may be true (that shall issue laws have had remarkably little effect on crime rates or the rate of accidental or impulsive shootings--either pro or con), has anybody bothered to find out if shall-issue laws have actually changed the behavior of so-called "law-abiding" citizens? I bet that people who believed that it their God-given (or at least Constitutional) right to carry a concealed firearm before shall carry laws passed and thought they needed one for self-defense carried one regardless of what the law said anyway. The shall-issue laws just made their behavior legal. Those of us who don't think the world is such a dangerous place, take reasonable precautions, and somehow have managed to live 44 years without ever being threatened eventhough we have been in questionable neighborhoods late at night (I did have a knife pulled on me at a Boomtown Rats concert once, though--that was pretty ironic--but that was in DeKalb, IL), aren't about to rush out and get permits. And criminals with guns won't bother to get permits either.
6.8.2006 12:13pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
Ah Freder,

I'm going to steer clear of the trigger happy "law-abiding" yokels who come into town ready to draw down on everybody who looks at them sideways or cuts them off in traffic.

Just one Freder, just one REAL incident to match your fervid imagination. That is all I ask. Otherwise methinks thou do protest too much about someone else's paranoia.
6.8.2006 12:34pm
EricK:
Freder,
I can only speak about the people I know that got permits after the MN shall issue conceal carry law was passed (it was may issue before), and they did not carry illegaly before it was passed. My question is why should I not be able to defend myself at the same level that I am being attacked? As you mentioned criminals are not going to get permits. Also I would imagine that most people who are victims of violent crime had never needed to defend themselves before it happened.
6.8.2006 12:44pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Just one Freder, just one REAL incident to match your fervid imagination. That is all I ask. Otherwise methinks thou do protest too much about someone else's paranoia.

One real incident. Okay, here's one real incident that I found absolutely hilarious that I recall from high school. My mother came home all upset because her friend's husband had been arrested for threatening some high school students in a road rage incident.

His story was this. He was driving along minding his own business when these young toughs cut him off. He was so incensed that he followed them to get their license plate number. When he caught up with them they waved a gun at him. So he rationally decided to report the incident to the police. Unfortunately, the young toughs beat him to the police department (this is when I began to realize the story wasn't making any sense) and were claiming he was the one who threatened them with a gun. Well, the police searched both cars, and guess what? The middle-class professional was the only one who had a gun in his car, so he was the one who ended up getting arrested. Apparently, this bonehead thought that just because he was wearing a suit and tie the police would take his word over that of a bunch of high school kids.

As my mother retold this story that her friend had told her and I pointed out that her friend's husband was the only one with a gun in his car (although he swore it was the kids who had a gun and he never pulled his out of the glove compartment) and it made absolutely no sense for the kids to go to the police if they had a gun, my mom began to realize that her friend's husband must be full of shit and pretty stupid to boot.

How's that for a REAL incident?
6.8.2006 1:17pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Just one Freder, just one REAL incident to match your fervid imagination.

And how about the Japanese Exchange student who was shot dead by the homeowner in Baton Rouge, LA, when he went to the wrong house for a halloween party just a few weeks after he arrived at LSU from Japan. That was a REAL incident.
6.8.2006 1:51pm
Goober (mail):
Hangon, just so we're clear, the outrage here is that Denver gets to apply a law passed by Denver's politicians (and presumably favored by Denver voters), rather than having to apply a law favored by people outside the city of Denver? How terrible.
6.8.2006 2:25pm
Kevin P. (mail):
No the outrage is that Denver gets to keep an unconstitutional law on the books because of Colorado's do-whatever-you-want-and-the-Bill-of-Rights-be-damned Home Rule provision.
6.8.2006 5:17pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Here is a link to Operation Self Defense which uses a team of volunteers to collect daily stories on citizens who use guns to defend themselves and their families. It's a good thing that these individuals didn't feel so safe that they were disarmed when trouble arrived.

And remember, these are only the stories where someone usually got shot thus getting the police and press involved. Self defense uses of guns that do not involve firing a shot often go unreported.
6.8.2006 5:25pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Freder Frederson:

I bet that people who believed that it their God-given (or at least Constitutional) right to carry a concealed firearm before shall carry laws passed and thought they needed one for self-defense carried one regardless of what the law said anyway.


I doubt that you know any of these people to say this with any kind of authority. However, don't let this stop you from making stuff up.
6.8.2006 5:35pm
1860's Goober:
Just so we're clear, the outrage here is that the Confederacy gets to apply a law passed by the Confederacy's politicians (and presumably favored by Confederate voters), rather than having to apply a law favored by people outside the Confederacy? How terrible.
6.8.2006 5:38pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
The problem is, as stated above, that Denver is a "home rule" city, and, thus, apparently, is exempt from state law here. Part of the reason for the state passing uniform state wide law was that it varied so dramatically across the state. For example, before mandatory issue, the only people with concealed carry permits issued in the city and county of Denver were close friends of the mayor, chief of police, etc. Getting bona fide death threats, etc. was apparently not sufficient danger to qualify. A couple of dozen for a population of a half a million. Compare this to other counties of similar size that had issued thousands of permits.

The one that is most absurd that is still on the books (again) is that they try to prevent open carry also. Interestingly, the open carry is out again, but the concealed carry is a different law, and, so is apparently in effect in Denver - which means that you can get a concealed carry permit, and carry concealed, but you can't carry the same gun openly. Weird.

The Denver government claimed that it had a unique situation there - that it was more dangerous, etc., and so had to have tougher gun laws. Well, no surprise, before the mandatory issue law, the only people with guns there were the cops and the gangs. And I remember one time, about 20 years ago, when we saw something going on across the fairly busy street one night. Someone called 911, and we waited. All of a sudden, about 40 minutes after the call, about six squad cars rolled up at the same time. Turns out the burglers were, of course, long gone. Same year though, I got a ticket for speeding there 10 miles over on the freeways, moving with traffic. Seems they were a lot more interested in reducing speeding than burglary, murder, etc. Not the best people to have protecting you from the drive-by gang initiations, etc.

Indeed, even today, there are seriously dangerous places in that city. One kid died recently, knifed in the cafeteria at a high school - apparently because he wore red to school. And there are neighborhoods where gun shots are routinely heard (article today in one of the papers showing crime rates, and profiling the "Sun Valley" area as esp. bad). So, the usual liberal solution is to disarm the law abiding citizenry.

We moved out of the city when I was 5 in 1955, and since then I spent a total of 6 months in the 1970s living there. Other than that, I have been quite happy living almost everywhere else in the state - in a lot more safety.
6.8.2006 9:13pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
Freder,

The Japanese student does not match your original condition, nor does it have anything to do with concealed carry (since the person who shot him was at home at the time). Not that that makes the incident any less unfortunate, but you do of course know that the man was not even indicted, let alone convicted.

I'm glad that you were able to reach back to a second hand story from high school where no one was harmed. Was the man convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing, etc? We've been treated to this bloody bit of rhetoric, over and over, ever since Florida instituted shall-issue CCW permits, and with nary an anecdote of wild gunfire (something yours lacked as well) and innocents slain. Seems the evil phantoms are not all in the gun owners minds.
6.8.2006 11:57pm
Anonymous Koward:
I'm going to steer clear of the trigger happy "law-abiding" yokels who come into town ready to draw down on everybody who looks at them sideways or cuts them off in traffic.

8% of violent crime is committed by somebody with a gun.

25% of violent crime is committed by blacks.

Are you also going to steer clear of black people?
6.9.2006 10:08am
Freder Frederson (mail):
I doubt that you know any of these people to say this with any kind of authority. However, don't let this stop you from making stuff up.

I didn't make anything up. That's why I phrased my statement as a query and a bet. What I do know is that the states that have passed shall-issue laws have not seen a faster decline in violent crime than those that don't. Cities and municipalities that have strict gun control regulations don't necessarily have higher or lower violent crime rates than those that don't. In fact, two cities (New York and Chicago) that have had the most success in lowering their violent crime rates recently have among the most strict gun control regulations in the country. Other cities with strict gun control (most notably Washington, DC) have been much less successful. The city with the highest murder rate in 2004 (which will drop way down in 2005 only because of Katrina) was New Orleans, and it has absolutely no meanigful restrictions on the possession of firearms. The rate of citizen carry (which as far as I know is completely undocumented) seems to have zero impact on crime rates. And I will grant you, so does localized, especially municipal, gun control laws.

As a general rule, violent crime rates are higher in states (The South and West) where the tradition and right of "absolute self defense" is most cherished than states where it is not (especially the northeast) and where the justice system is most punitive. Make of that what you will.
6.9.2006 11:30am
Freder Frederson (mail):
25% of violent crime is committed by blacks.

Are you also going to steer clear of black people?


I live in a racially mixed neigborhood in New Orleans. My neighorhood is about 1/3 black and the average home price in my neighborhood is around $200,000. I don't think that 25% of the black people (all hardworking professionals, some military, most of them with families) are violent criminals. So no, I am not going to cross to the other side of the street when I see them walking their kids in a stroller through the neighborhood or run in the house and get my gun when my neighbor across the street (a lawyer btw, so he actually might be a criminal, but I doubt he's violent) puts his trash out.

Why do you bring race into the discussion? That tells me a lot about you. Poverty is a much better indicator of propensity to violent crime than race.

So I will steer clear of poor, violent neighborhoods regardless of the racial makeup of the residents. I'll let you steer clear of black people.
6.9.2006 11:41am
Freder Frederson (mail):
Not that that makes the incident any less unfortunate, but you do of course know that the man was not even indicted, let alone convicted.

Which makes the incident even more tragic. If the guy had run the student down with his car, even accidentally, he would have been charged with involuntarily manslaughter. But because he shoots him dead based on an irrational belief, he gets off scott free.
6.9.2006 11:44am
Goober (mail):
Kevin P, the law isn't unconstitutional. This was a dispute about pre-emption, not a 2nd Amendment challenge. And your implication that "home rule" means that Denver ordinances aren't subject to judicial review is, frankly, bizarre.
6.9.2006 5:55pm
Anonymous Koward:
Why do you bring race into the discussion? That tells me a lot about you.

Really? Like what?
6.9.2006 8:08pm
juris_imprudent (mail):

If the guy had run the student down with his car, even accidentally, he would have been charged with involuntarily manslaughter.

Wow Freder, I just can't believe I've missed all the fatal vehicular accidents that have resulted in charges, let alone convictions. If it's even 1 in 10 that would be what, four or five thousand a year. Have you ever considered facts (from the real world) as part of debate?
6.12.2006 12:47am