Senator Udall Stands Ground on Gun Vote

For better or for worse.

I felt the question was not whether to be counted as “pro-gun” or “anti-gun,” but to look beyond labels and examine the real, and not theoretical, impacts of the proposed legislation – particularly on Colorado and our citizens.

Since states have different laws governing concealed firearms, The Denver Post suggested that the amendment I supported would wipe away Colorado’s law by forcing us to recognize other states’ laws. It was alleged that this legislation would open the door to illegal activity and create unsafe conditions for our citizens.

These are not trivial concerns, and I considered them carefully.

My final judgment was influenced by our experience in Colorado. We have a law, passed in 2003, that allows Colorado to recognize out-of-state permits from other states that recognize Colorado’s law and only requires permit holders to be at least 21 years old. That’s it. There are no additional restrictions. [emphasis added]

That’s not really the point the editorial was making, and it’s a bit of a strawman argument to suggest that it was.

If law-abiding residents of one of the 27 states that are part of Colorado’s reciprocity agreement travel here, they can use their permits legally, just as Coloradans with permits can travel freely with concealed weapons in theirs. That’s not the case in states such as New York, where it’s very difficult to even get a concealed-carry permit. Kopel argues that Thune was taking aim at those heavily restrictive states.

The argument, Kopel says, is those restrictive states are endangering the lives of law-abiding people who carry weapons for self-protection. But Thune didn’t address that disparity. Instead, the senator attempted to force states to accept a least-common-denominator set of regulations regarding concealed weapons.

Our senators need to rethink their support of these policies. [emphasis added]

As a federal legislator, Senator Udall’s votes affect every state, not just Colorado. While his priority should be to make sure Colorado gets a fair shake from Federal laws and regulations, he also needs to be cognizant of their effects on the other 49 states. It is because of Senators taking similarly parochial views on every piece of legislation that we haven’t seen progress on health care, global warming, and other issues of national importance that have potentially uncomfortable effects on different states and regions of the country while having a net positive effect on the whole.

Senator Udall’s position is that his vote was essentially a net neutral in its effects on Colorado because it already has reciprocity with most other states. That argument works in the other direction as well. The fact that the amendment failed means about as much or as little for Colorado as it would have had it passed.

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    That Udall basically said it didn’t impact Colorado – and who cares what impact it has elsewhere. You would hope, especially when the impact on Colorado is negligible, that they might look at the impact elsewhere.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      After he received permission to vote yes on it.

      What a squid.

      • Ralphie says:

        You’d be screaming bloody murder about it.

        • Laughing Boy says:



          Actually, We should probably have a national CCW law.

          • Ralphie says:

            But knowing who’s carrying is an important safety issue for local law enforcement.  Are you ready for a national CCW database?  Because the NRA sure as shit isn’t.

          • ThillyWabbit says:

            So use the legislative process to pass one, not to create latticework of state reciprocity agreements where the lowest common denominator is law, causing decades of lawsuits that may wind up in a supreme court decision permanently rendering the balance of power between the Federal Government and the States (and between states) in a state both of us might not be happy with.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        He is already running for 2014.

        A slickly packaged professional politician who gives chameleons a run for their money.

        It’s good to see you posting again LB.  

        • Laughing Boy says:

          How’s the most underrated, beautiful county this summer?  I haven’t been up for a month.

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            in recent memory.  The spring and early summer rains produced a profusion of wildflowers that were just incredible.  The one thing I really noticed this year was the deep red of the Indian Paintbrush.  The Bluebells almost outnumbered the Dandelions this year.

            24/7 gambling has come to the county and the scintillating excitement of people being able to lose their money faster has the casinos giddy with fresh profits.

            The Mountain Pine Beetle didn’t hit as hard in 2008 as we feared so the forests are still wonderfully green even though you can see rust colored trees on almost every slope.  It was been a wonderful summer so far.

  2. …is one of the most underrated politicians in our good state – very savvy – more intelligent than he’s given credit for

    Unless he leaves the Senate for a Cabinet position or something similar, he’ll be very difficult to defeat – people around Eagle and Summit were pretty happy with his work as the CD2 Congressman and I think he earned a lot of street-cred by representing the Western Slope, in becoming both a Front Range and Western Slope entity – anyways, real intelligent guy – we, as the GOP, will have to work hard in cultivating a great candidate that could defeat him

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Or is he just very good at making sure he has a comfortable job for as long as he wants it?

      • ThillyWabbit says:

        He’s doing incredible work for a first term Senator (due largely to groundwork laid during 10 years in the House).

        On this issue he is dead wrong, and I think publishing this op-ed was a bad idea too, because it just re-opens the issue rather than putting it to bed.

        • Laughing Boy says:

          He’s just afraid of the NRA.

          • SSG_Dan says:

            …they shot their wad on the SOTUS nomination, and basically most of the centrists in either party said “Meh.”

            Based on the inflammatory rhetoric the NRA was direct-mailing and interwebing, they made it sound like it was the issue of the century. They FAILED.

            Not that Politicos see that there’s no real penalty in ignoring Uber-right wing mindless rhetoric, the only people that care are the Uber-Right wingers..

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          If so then it was a clever use of the term when discussing gun rights.  The op-ed just shows that Udall after 10 years of undistinguished service in the House is as clueless as the rookie Polis when it comes to PR moves.

      • BlueCat says:

        did NOT have lunch or whatever with David. Big mistake.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          When you’re candidate is shown to be a hack, changing the subject is the best counter-stroke. Well done.

          ps – And I assume my pounding Jared recently is because he has been interviewed by me twice.

          • BlueCat says:

            And since when is Udall “my” candidate?  I certainly preferred him to the alternative and pretty sure you did too. I think he’s doing a pretty OK job. And it’s so hard to resist teasing you and so easy to get a rise.  

            • Gilpin Guy says:

              Udall isn’t a disaster but I tend to view him as a permanent disappointment.  About the only significant piece of legislation that I remember him sponsoring is designating Rocky Mountain National Park a wilderness area as if that was something to swoon over.

              You are spot on that the alternative (Bob Schaffer) would have been a total nutjob in the Senate.  The Republicans have no talent and the competition basically gets down to electing Mr. Vanilla or Mr. Escaped from the Ward.  Udall will putter along making sure that he gets elected time and again but the man offers little hope of dynamic leadership and willingness to let it all hang out to fix things.  I guess low expectations shouldn’t be a surprise when it comes to judging Democrats.

      • I’m mainly stating that he’s VERY savvy

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