Rick Stanley tested the Denver gun-control ordinances on December 15, 2001, with reliance on the Second Amendment. He openly carried a gun during a rally in downtown Denver to show support for a citizen's right to protect themselves.
He was arrested for violating Denver Revised Municipal Code 38-117(b) that forbids the open carrying of a gun despite the clear wording of the Colorado Constitution that gives Colorado citizens the right to openly bear arms. Article II, Section 13 states:
"The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons."
Stanley's case was originally heard on May 16, 2002, in Denver County Municipal Court by Judge Robert Patterson. With Patterson's instructions, a jury found that Stanley was in violation of DRMC38-117.
During Rick Stanley's court battle over the right-to-carry issue the Colorado legislature passed, and the governor signed, two bills that put gun control under state authority. Senate Bill 03-24, a legislative declaration mandating uniform state standards for the issuance of concealed weapon carry permits under C.R.S. § 18-12-201 et seq. And SB 03-25 enacted C.R.S. § 18-12-105.6 that superceded Denver's ordinance on carrying firearms in private vehicles and, with C.R.S. § 29-11.7-101 et seq., put the regulation of firearms under state control except that local governments may prohibit open carry of weapons in specific buildings and places (C.R.S. § 29-11.7-104). Thus, Senate Bills 03-24 and 03-25 voided Denver's ordinance and affirmed the right of all Colorado citizens to keep and bear arms.
Despite the passage of Senate Bills 03-24 and 03-25, Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt refused to reconsider his ruling affirming the conviction and held that "home rule" and "municipal law" supercedes the laws and Constitutions of the State of Colorado and the United States of America.
The trial of Denver's case against Colorado is set for August 30, 2004. That case can be followed by going to COcourts.com and searching the records under City & County of Denver, et. al. vs. State of Colorado, 2003 CV 3809.
The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.