Montrose councilwoman Ellis caught at airport packing heat

‘I guess you can’t fix stupid. I don’t know how else to put it.’

Montrose councilwoman Ellis caught at airport packing heat

Gary and Kathy Ellis are husband and wife. She’s a Montrose city councilwoman. He’s a Montrose County commissioner. They were on their way to Vegas last week for a four-day Aviation Association conference. But before the trip could really get underway, Kathy was pulled aside by screeners at the Montrose County Regional Airport. They found a .25-caliber semi-automatic Browning handgun in her purse, a class 6 felony that could land her two years in prison with a $100,000 fine to pay.

Ellis has a concealed-carry permit for her Browning. She said she removed a pair of scissors and liquids from her bags. She just forgot the weapon is all. It was unloaded. Six rounds in the magazine. Nothing in the chamber.

“My mistake was, I forgot to take it out of my purse,” she told Charles Ashby at the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “This is not a joking matter and I don’t take it lightly. I guess you can’t fix stupid. I don’t know how else to put it.”

Ashby reports that the law is the law — councilwoman, wife of commissioner, no matter:

Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap said he believes Ellis when she says she forgot about the weapon, but the law is clear. She will be issued a summons on suspicion of carrying a firearm into a facility of public transportation, he said, adding that it’s up to 7th Judicial District Attorney Dan Hotsenpiller to actually file that charge.

The story was published last Wednesday. It’s a gem of a short dispatch from Colorado’s western slope and a passing glance into what some refer to as the county’s incestuous political machine.

Too bad the story now lives behind a paywall. Interested readers might email the author,, and ask him to forward the version he wrote on his computer.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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