The number of concealed weapons permits issued in Colorado last year fell to its lowest level since 2003, when a new law created a uniform, statewide system for granting the licenses, the Rocky Mountain News reports. Sheriffs issued 9,522 licenses in 2003, followed by 6,860 in 2004 and 6,279 last year. Three years after the law was enacted, the carrying of concealed weapons remains controversial. Tony Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association, said the law has “been an unqualified success.” He said, “We have people who previously were unable to get concealed-carry permits who are now getting them in jurisdictions that didn’t issue them under the discretionary law.”
Colorado is one of 40 states where citizens are allowed to carry concealed weapons. In the other 10 states, it is difficult or impossible to obtain permission to carry a concealed gun. Diana Madarieta of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said that research on concealed weapons laws and their effect on crime is scarce.