Days after it was reported that Cynthia Coffman, who is running for governor in Colorado, was one of only two Republican attorneys general who hadn’t signed a letter in support of an NRA-backed law to allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry hidden guns in any state, she said she supports it.
“Better late than never,” said David Kopel, a Colorado attorney who has written books and articles about gun laws and the Second Amendment and supports the federal legislation.
The U.S. House could vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act this week, just around the five-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and as advocates for more regulation of firearms are holding vigils around the nation. The proposed law, which is a top priority for the National Rifle Association, would expand concealed carry rights from state to state.
Over the weekend in the western heartland, The Salt Lake Tribune published a story about Utah AG Sean Reyes offering his support for the law.
Buried in the Dec. 2 story was this line:
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who recently joined her state’s 2018 gubernatorial race, and Tennessee Attorney General Henry Slatery didn’t sign the letter and didn’t respond to a request for comment.
A day later, according to her office, Coffman sent her own letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass the federal law.
“Currently, ten states refuse to recognize any out-of-state concealed carry permits, while others require fulfillment of onerous conditions before these rights are acknowledged,” Coffman wrote. Colorado, she continued, respects the rights of those who live here and those who are visiting to carry guns as long as they comply with the laws of their home states. “I believe everyone should respect this right,” she wrote. “I urge you to support concealed carry across state lines.”
On Monday, Dec. 4, Coffman tweeted about the issue from an account that promotes her candidacy for governor.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress must act to protect the 2nd Amendment. We shouldn’t have to forfeit our freedoms just because we cross a state line. Read my letter to Congress on #CCRA. #2A https://t.co/YQKD9tJxUG
— Cynthia Coffman (@CynthiaHCoffman) December 4, 2017
Coffman’s spokesman in the Attorney General’s Office, Annie Skinner, didn’t respond to an email asking why Coffman did not initially sign onto the Dec. 1 letter penned by Missouri’s GOP attorney general, Joshua Hawley.
Tom Mauser, a spokesman for Colorado Ceasefire, a nonprofit that works on preventing gun violence, says he worries that if the law passes, visitors to Colorado from states with looser permitting laws will be allowed to carry concealed weapons.
“It’s really a rush to lower the bar completely to having no permitting system at all,” says Mauser, whose son was killed at Columbine.
Colorado allows reciprocity in 32 states, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Like a majority of other states, in Colorado gun owners can openly carry guns without a permit. In order to carry concealed weapons, residents must apply for a permit through their local sheriff’s office.