Well, if your a crook, then you don’t have to worry about permits, I guess.
This unconstitutional president is acting like a tyrant. Um, I guess that’s logical.
Sheriffs’ withholding of gun-permit info is no ‘lapse’
The Denver Post editorial board waxes indignant today in an editorial criticising a state database of concealed-weapons permit holders used by law enforcement. It’s a follow-up to a story by the paper’s Kirk Mitchell, who found inconsistencies in the information provided by county sheriffs to the Colorado Crime Information Center, revealed in a recent state audit.
When Colorado transitioned to a “shall issue” model for concealed carry – where sheriffs are required to issue any qualified individual a permit regardless of their reason for wanting one – thousands of law-abiding citizens flocked to this new option for self-defense. The application process is no joke, involving fingerprints, notarized applications and a criminal background check.
The law encourages sheriffs to then identify permit holders to the CBI for inclusion in CCIC, the computer system used by front-line law enforcement officers.
However that same law is also explicit about the right of elected sheriffs to withhold the information, as 20 counties do presently. Criticizing the practice, the Post calls this a “lapse,” implying the holdouts are neglecting some duty to report to the state. Mitchell’s original reportsays these jurisdictions are “part of the problem.”
On the contrary, many of these sheriffs say the database itself – and its potential for misuse – is exactly their reason for opting out.
One of them is Weld County Sheriff John Cooke, who says his constituents want no part of the information-sharing. “It’s not a lapse,” he tells Face The State. “These folks are following the law. Why put them in a statewide database?”
“The problem,” writes the Post, “is that police regularly rely on the database.” For that reason, they say, more counties should participate.
Cooke agrees, law enforcement’s use of the data is a problem. Or rather, it’s in how they use it. Officers often don’t query an driver’s individual record until well after a traffic stop has been initiated. License plates, which are researched before a deputy steps out of his cruiser, aren’t cross-linked to concealed-carry records.
“It’s not an officer-safety issue,” Cooke says. “When an officer goes and makes a traffic stop, let’s say, he has to assume there’s a gun in every car and he has to use universal safety precautions every time he contacts somebody.”
“Plus,” he adds, “you don’t need a concealed weapons permit to have a gun in the car. It’s perfectly legal to do that without a permit.” There’s also concern officers may be “lulled into a false sense of security” by relying on the crime database to determine someone’s potential threat level.
“Why punish the people who are following the law?” he asks.
The state should be commended for its comprehensive audit of this broken system. What we do next is an open question. In this case, reform should mean scrapping a broken system that serves neither permit-holders nor police, all while violating our privacy for no good reason.