The more I do this job the more I believe open carry is the litmus test for gun rights. Sure, it’s tactically inadvisable. And yes, it scares firearms-averse citizens into full-blown hoplophobia. But any society that forces citizens to hide the free exercise of a natural, civil and Constitutional right is a society where that right is in danger. Besides, Sheriff Mink has it exactly backwards. The fact that there are “emotionally overwrought” people in court makes it even more important to be able to carry a gun openly than in other locations. Mink claims he has an obligation to “limit disruptions” when taxpayers exercise their Second Amendment. It’s all about efficiency? Bullshit. Colorado’s descent into slave state status continues apace.

59 Responses to Jefferson County Colorado Curtails Open Carry

  1. Sadly I’m sure there’s no way in hell the SCOTUS will ever rule in favor of states having to allow open carry.

    • Yeah, because “…to keep AND BARE ARMS, shall not be infringed” is sooooo hard to interpret

      • There’s no such thing as a right without limits, ‘shall not be infringed’ or not. Gun owners of all people should know that.

  2. Nothing says “freedom” like open carry. When Wis. first got CC/accepted open carry a young man walked into the bank with a 1911 on his hip. Trust me, after 60 years of bullshit, thats freedom, Randy

      • Didn’t happen this congress. All we could get this time was decriminalizing accidental displays without malicious intent.

        • I’ve often “worried” about printing or otherwise exposing my pistol while carrying. Mostly so I don’t scare the sheeple and end up getting SWATted.

          However, with open carry legal here* (even without a permit), I wouldn’t be guilty of any crime if my shirt got hung up on my pistol’s grip.

          *Offer void in City and County of Denver, and various buildings and areas around the state controlled / posted by local governments.

  3. Technically the county law is unenforceable as it is not in keeping with the state law. State law over rules city and county I believe. Doesnt mean you wont be detained and hassled, likely arrested but it should not hold up in court. Of course denver is its own little state according to the courts.

    • Not just the courts… The original CO Constitution has a section where Denver has “Home-Rule”. Even back then, the elite of Denver didn’t want to live under rules passed by the rest of Colorado. Denver bans open carry. And the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the ban.

    • JeffCo’s proposed law doesn’t conflict with state law, since they’re only talking about certain buildings:
      C.R.S. 29-11.7-104. Regulation – carrying – posting
      A local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government’s jurisdiction.

      If they were talking about banning open carry in the entire county, it would have to go to court (City and County of Denver is, so far, the only locality “allowed” to have a blanket ban on open carry).

  4. The same rationale used in the PRC to outlaw open carry.The whinning LEOs were put out having to respond to Starbucks,etc when someone walked in strapped.Whaa.

    • Purely FYI, no criticism implied, “whinning” would rhyme with “beginning”: the doubled vowel makes a long vowel sound into a short. “Whining”, then, would rhyme with “shining”.

      • Purely FYI, no criticism implied, “whinning” would rhyme with “beginning”: the doubled vowel consonant makes a long vowel sound into a short. “Whining”, then, would rhyme with “shining”.

        There, fixed that for ya!

  5. “We’re worried about ’emotionally overwrought’ people shooting us. So, we’re forcing them to hide their weapons, so we’ll be caught off-guard if they try to kill us.”

    Progressive logic.

    • “If we can’t see them,” so goes the ‘logic’, “then we won’t have to worry about them.” The obvious but unasked question here is, “just who is the emotionally overwrought party here?” Clearly it’s the hoplophobes, not the gun-toters.

  6. Interesting topic in general. This is pretty much a case of hysteria dictating policy. Even if it doesn’t dictate policy, it still dictates behavior. There are times when it would be more comfortable to open carry, which would be perfectly legal where I live. But someone would be bound to call the cops, the cops would have to respond, and, even if the cops were polite, I’d have to take time out to deal with them.

    So, a question I’ve been mulling over. Assuming one is willing to deal with the downsides, should we open carry when we can to help get people used to the idea that citizens can carry guns safely and routinely? Desensitization is a tried and true psychological principle. On the other hand, would some antis have their sensibilities so offended that open carry would do more harm than good? Might be best to let them go on pretending that guns don’t exist in their little worlds.

    • I would agree. In any area there are those that will have to get accustomed to you excercising civil liberties. People perplex me when they react to a civilian, not wearing police uniforms, open carry. Plain clothed inspectors get their ganders a bit I would presume. They serioysly think they are not just citizens employed by a corporate entity employed by a given city, town, village, County or State….

      Once they come to the understanding we are the ones that can save their lives or at the very least try to intervene.

      This is simply another phobia caused by liberal-distrust…

  7. I actually live in an unincorporated area of Jefferson County. I never thought this mindset would come to this county, let alone the whole state.

    Idaho is looking better and better as a retirement area.

    • It’s not the whole county nor the entire state. It’s a ban in certain buildings. Not the overall county. These bans are already in place in many areas though not under the rule of law.

      • I’m speaking of the anti-gun mindset that’s so much more prevalent in Colorado than it was even 15 years ago.

        Your point about the specificity of this ban is well-taken, though.

        • Gotcha, I can’t recall what it was like 15 years ago. I was still a kid. But I would agree with your larger point. I don’t believe we are quite a slave state yet though on track to becoming one if we do not reverse course in 2014.

      • “These bans are already in place in many areas though not under the rule of law”

        Except for those bans that are pursuant to C.R.S. 29-11.7-104.

        Of course, if you’re referring to “bans” in places like Big R in Elizabeth or movie theaters in Aurora, then, yes, you’re right – such bans don’t carry the force of law. At most, they can ask you to leave and, if you refuse, they can summon law enforcement and claim that you’re trespassing.

  8. I am very glad WI is an open carry State and my CLEO is in full support of my constituttional rights.

    We have an OK CC law by the way of no stupid fingerprinting or Special training other than hunters safety or accredited course. We are nearing 200k CC holders state-wide.

  9. I don’t agree with the ban but I honestly don’t have a problem if certain people running certain buildings want to regulate what goes on inside their workplace. This isn’t a blanket ban in Jefferson County like the one in Denver. It’s just inside certain buildings. My local sheriff asks that people leave their weapons at home or n the car when applying for their CCW and I live in a very conservative locality. In fact I’m proud of my sheriff as he’s signed on their the anti-gun lawsuit here with 54 other sheriffs.

    • Ditto.

      My Sheriff (Weaver, Douglas County) not only signed on with the other Sheriffs, he was one of the 18 at the press conference.

      He still has a sign and metal detector at his front door. Can’t carry to his office. And I don’t have [too much of] a problem with that. He had my CHP ready for pickup 14 days after I applied.

        • Cool. I’m in Franktown, about 3 miles east of 86 and Parker Rd, just west of Flintwood.

          For the record, our Sheriff doesn’t just “ask that people leave their weapons at home or n the car when applying for their CCW” – you cannot get to his lobby without going through a metal detector, and they won’t let you through with a 1.5″ Buck 505 in your pocket.

        • Heh… “a very conservative locality”.

          Based on what my new neighbor said when I moved in, we’re in the 2nd-most conservative county in the state, next to El Paso.

          EDIT: And, as a California ex-pat (read: refugee), I just giggled to myself when he told me that. I knew I was “home”.

    • There is a huge difference between a private owner banning OC and a government agency doing so. The public building is directly controlled by the constitution and the state court decision is corrupt and invalid. The “right of way” should go to the citizens’ rights, not government power. But, we no longer live in a country where the government considers itself limited by any constitution.

      • “the state court decision is corrupt and invalid”

        What state court decision?

        JeffCo is acting according to a state statute that, to my knowledge, has not been challenged.

        In case you’re referring to the state supreme court decision that let stand lower courts’ decisions regarding Denver’s open carry ban – that has nothing to do with this.

    • Greetings to my Douglas county brothers from El Paso County. Am also proud of my sheriff for standing up to the b.s coming from Denver. In terms of open carry, I don’t really open carry at all and even here in Colorado Springs I have seen maybe two people open carry. I personally don’t want the hassle of someone freaking out and calling the cops on me.

  10. It’s ironic that back in the day when the Founders wrote 2A, open carry was thought of as the honest and straightforward means for gentlemen to protect themselves, while concealed carry was the province of footpads, thieves and murderers.

    Which is why an open carry case is unlikely to get to SCOTUS. It would make their heads explode. The Originalists will say yes you can, the statists will say no you can’t, and the whole thing will turn on whether or not Kennedy is a pantywaist.

    In order to stay consistent, the Court might just overrule Moore v. Madigan. Then nobody will have a right to carry outside the home, openly or concealed.

  11. I have no problem banning guns in courthouses. There have been multiple shootings and multiple deaths in courthouses across this state. Often in connection with divorce proceedings. Now I would prefer that these places where you could lock up your guns while inside, as there is a risk when you leave the building that is uncontrolled when your firearm is in the car…that is an issue the counties don’t seem to want to deal with.

  12. RF…..you say (in regards to open carry) “And yes, it scares firearms-averse citizens into full-blown hoplophobia….”

    You’ve never been here in sunny Arizona, have you?

    Here, where we have CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY, seeing someone walk down the street, perhaps shopping in the local WalMart doesn’t even draw a stare!

    I know first hand, because I open carry everywhere!

    • I live in a semi-rural area a bit south of Denver, CO. Right around this area.

      I carry concealed almost everywhere I go. I sometimes carry openly – but only if I know / reasonably believe I won’t frighten the locals. I have better things to do than be the subject of a MWG call.

  13. Open carry is useful for desensitization of borderline hoplophobes in direct proportion to the degree with which it violates local expectations for social norms.

    If you live in a low-population-density area of the desert Southwest (e.g. AZ) then going open-carry is quite unlikely to cause any drama.

    If, on the other hand, you decided that open carry was your plan for the day in Arlington VA (basically an extension of the DC megaplex) then you’ll likely be violating the social-norm expectations of the majority of folks who see you in public, and there’s gonna be some drama regardless of legality.

    IMHO, OC as a tool for normalizing people going armed is only useful in cases where there’s a local culture and history favorable to OC, but public opinion is teetering in the balance due to increased urbanization (high pop density) and migration from megacities with a strong anti-gun culture. There, you might have a reasonable chance at convincing folks that this IS the local norm, and they just have to remember that it’s part of the culture.

    Otherwise, it’s either a last-ditch desperate poke in the eye to the establishment (OC rally in CA -> OC outlawed in CA) or such a non-event it’s hardly worth mentioning. To that point, I do find it endlessly surprising that Texas is so anti-OC that you can rack up a CCW-revoking violation just because your firearm was briefly visible.

    • Yeah, location would probably be the key consideration. Delicate matter. At least where I live, do it in the city and you’d be sure to spook people and probably end up with a cop kneeling on your back. Do it in the country side and nobody would even notice. You gain nothing either way.

      Now, in the burbs where I live, I have neighbors that are NRA life members and neighbors that are full blown hoplophobes. I would take some pleasure in watching the hoplophobes piss their knickers, but seeing me get SWATed probably wouldn’t convince any fence-sitters to swing our way.

    • I am resident of Arlington County. I don’t make it a habit of open carrying but I have done it at night in the park and have also inadvertently uncovered and I didn’t notice it right away. Nobody called the cops on me.

      Context is important. I am a “senior citizen” with a cop/military style haircut (it’s not my preference but short hair knocks ten years off my looks) and I suspect that most people think I am/was a LEO or military officer and let it pass without notice.

      Would I brazenly open carry in broad daylight? Not on your life. The police know the law but they are get pissed at you because you should better given the political makeup of the county.

  14. Here is a simple explanation of the fundamental problem.

    Context:
    (a) service employee does not trust strangers
    (b) service employee is most likely unarmed and feels vulnerable
    (c) service employee fears citizens with a pistol in a holster on their hip

    Problem:
    Service employee refuses to fix their own problems (mistrust of strangers and being unarmed/vulnerable). Instead, service employee expects citizens to change their behavior because the service employee is vulnerable and weary of strangers.

    Can someone please explain to me why the service employee is not responsible to fix their own problems? More importantly, can someone please explain to me why I have to give up my rights to accommodate fearful and mistrusting service employees?

  15. “Colorado’s descent into slave state status continues apace.”

    This has been allowed under state law for quite a while.

    A local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government’s jurisdiction. If a local government enacts an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area, the local government shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area.
    C.R.S. 29-11.7-104

    Nothing new, nothing to see here.

  16. I guess I opened carried for the last time in Evergreen on my May trip to Colorado. Nobody seemed to care so it must be the residents near Denver and the Sheriff of Jefferson County who have a problem with it.

    Well no more lunches at the Little Bear and no more business for the Silver Arrow.

    • I just read some more and discovered the ban is in public buildings not open spaces. I guess I will continue to eat buffalo burgers at the Little Bear and get my wife jewelry at the Silver Arrow. As an out of stater I have no reason to visit public buildings.

      • Yes, it’s buildings. A local government* can “ban” open carry only in a building or specific area within the jurisdiction of the local government*. No flat-out bans on open carry in an entire county.

        *City and County of Denver excepted. That one locality can ban open carry everywhere.

    • Next time try Wildfire in Idaho Springs. Just a little to the west, and it’s in Clear Creek County.

  17. I recently discovered that Portland Oregon does not have an ordinance against open carry, but the DA has ordered Portland Police to arrest anyone who open carries for disturbing the peace. Sadly, PDX does not openly admit they do this, but more than a few have been warned by friends within the bureau about this practice. At least some cities have the guts to admit they openly attack the 2A, whereas PDX, they get you in the back in the dark of night.

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