- The Washington Times - Friday, December 12, 2014

DENVER — A Colorado gun-rights group recently launched an initiative campaign to allow legal marijuana users to obtain concealed handgun permits.

Edgar Antillon, co-founder of Guns for Everyone in Westminster, known for providing free concealed carry classes, said he had filed a proposed ballot measure that would bring Colorado’s gun laws in line with its legal recreational and medical marijuana laws.

“Basically, we just want to sync up Colorado’s marijuana laws with our concealed carry permit laws,” Mr. Antillon said.

His group, the Colorado Campaign for Equal Gun Rights, needs 86,105 signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot. While he said he would prefer to see the measure land on the ballot as soon as November 2015, it might be more realistic to wait for the November 2016 ballot.

“In 2015, not as many people show up,” Mr. Antillon said. “We might have a better chance in 2016.”

The County Sheriffs of Colorado concealed handgun permit application now asks if “you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

Since voters legalized medical marijuana in 2000 and recreational marijuana for adults in 2012, it’s unclear whether someone who legally uses marijuana as defined by state law would be an “unlawful user” of marijuana.

“The entire state of Colorado is in violation of federal law,” said campaign co-founder Isaac Chase in a statement. “Marijuana is legal in Colorado, and the people voted to regulate it like alcohol. Consumers of alcohol are allowed to conceal, so should marijuana users.”

It’s still early, but Mr. Antillon said he envisions a grassroots campaign without heavy involvement from national firearms or marijuana groups. Then again, he said he may not have a choice, given that firearms and drug legalization groups tend to draw from different ends of the political spectrum.

“Those who are pro-gun are a lot of times against marijuana, and those who are pro-marijuana are against guns,” Mr. Antillon said. “For us, it’s a freedom issue.”

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