Update in Peterson v. Martinez

Peterson v. Martinez is a case challenging some provisions of Colorado’s concealed handgun licensing laws:

As Denver has an an open carry ban (which it has sued the state to protect this ban under the state constitution’s home rule provisions and won in district court), the combination of this factor and the state’s law against concealed carry without license combined together to deny Peterson his right to carry a functional firearm for personal protection while visiting Denver.

Let me give you a bit of background on this case. First, this is an as applied challenge, meaning that Peterson is not contending that Colorado’s concealed handgun licensing laws are facially unconstitutional, but that they are unconstitutional as applied to him, and his particular circumstances. If Peterson prevails on his challenge, anyone else similarly situated, meaning anyone who is not a resident of Colorado, and does not have a reciprocal license, would be able to assert the same claim. It would, in effect, carve out an exception for everyone, and not just him.

Either way, Peterson lost in District Court, in a decision that can be found here:

As discussed above, I conclude that residents and non-residents are not similarly situated in terms of the state’s ability to obtain information about and monitor the potential licensee’s eligibility for a concealed weapons permit. Because states “must treat like cases alike but may treat unlike cases accordingly,” Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 793, 799 (1997), and this involves unlike cases, Colorado’s different treatment of non-residents does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. See Peruta, 2010 WL 5137137 at *10 (finding residents and non-residents to be situated differently for the purposes of concealed weapons permit in light of state’s substantial interest in monitoring gun licensees).

This disposes of all of Plaintiff’s constitutional challenges to Colorado’s requirement that only residents of the state are eligible to apply for concealed handgun permits.

The case is being reheard in the 10th circuit in March, and the news here is that my understanding is that Amicus Curiae are being given ten minutes of oral arguments, which would include Matthew Bower, representing NRA’s Civil Rights Defense Fund, Alan Gura for SAF, and Jonathan Lowy for the Brady Center. It should be noted that the court is asking for this special session, which strikes me as unusual, so this could be a very interesting case to watch. All parties involved are trying to get more argument time in before the Court of Appeals in this case. This is going to be an interesting case to watch, folks.

4 thoughts on “Update in Peterson v. Martinez”

  1. Yeah, thanks. Of personal interest to me since I am formerly from CO where I had a CCW. Relocated to NV where I also have a CCW but NV is not reciprocal with CO so I can’t go back. Never mind that I also have a NR Florida permit which is reciprocal with CO, it doesn’t work because I am not a resident of FL. Even though I went through the exact same drill as residents of FL to get the permit in the first place. All this was initiated by an anti-gun police chief who got into the legislature and became Dem. majority leader.

  2. Go Gray!

    An unusual request from the court. No matter how they rule, the record will record a fight over 2A.

    You may end up in the Supreme Court before anyone else!

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