DENVER — Republican permit-holders will be able to bring their concealed firearms to Saturday’s Republican Party State Assembly, thanks to some quick action Friday by University of Colorado Regents Steve Bosley and Sue Sharkey.
University officials had originally said that concealed carry would not be allowed at the state assembly, which is being held at the Coors Event Center on the CU Boulder campus, but changed their minds after calls from the Republican regents.
“Big victory for freedom. CCW ban lifted for tomorrow great work by Regents Bosley and Sharkey,” said state Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) on Twitter.
Both regents were attending the congressional assemblies Friday at the Omni Hotel in Broomfield when party officials announced that there would be no concealed-carry at Saturday’s state assembly due to university rules.
Sharkey said she knew immediately that the policy had been misinterpreted, and apparently so did Bosley, sitting in another part of the ballroom. Both promptly called university attorney Patrick O’Rourke.
“It was pretty comical—both Steve and I are going and getting on the phone and we didn’t know what the other was doing,” said Sharkey. “We both had the same reaction.”
Concealed carry is allowed on the CU Boulder campus except where not permitted by contract. For example, the student housing lease doesn’t allow concealed carry in dormitories, and events that require ticket sales also typically ban concealed carry.
While tickets are sold for most activities at the Coors Event Center, there were no tickets offered for the Republican state assembly, said Sharkey.
“What Steve and I did was we challenged that, and said, ‘No, we don’t think that’s right,’” said Sharkey.
“So they took a second look at the contract and determined that in fact, what they had was not right, and that concealed carry could in fact be brought into the event center.”
Colorado Republican Party chair Ryan Call made the announcement at Friday’s assemblies, but delegates from the 2nd and 4th congressional districts had already left by that time, she said.
There was a bit of a surprise in the 4th CD: Delegates gave state Sen. Scott Renfroe (R-Greeley) the top line on the Republican primary ballot for the congressional race, above Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck.
Renfroe took 54 percent of the vote while Buck captured 46 percent, well above the 30 percent needed to qualify for the June 24 primary. A third candidate, Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, said she would attempt to petition onto the ballot.
The candidates are running to replace Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s stepping down to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in November.
Sharkey, who isn’t up for reelection until 2016, said she was grateful that university officials agreed to change their minds.
“Steve Bosley and I are very pleased at the turnaround on behalf of the university, that they changed their stance,” said Sharkey. “I’m really happy about that. They did the right thing.”