A new state law in Colorado bans citizens from obtaining a concealed weapon permit online. Instead, they will have to demonstrate in-person to a firearm instructor that they know how to safely handle a gun before they can receive the permit.
Lawmakers called the online firearm training an Internet loophole they didn’t see coming 10 years ago.
"There was no thought of anyone going and sitting in front of a computer and doing the whole course online," said bill-sponsor Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Colo. Tochtrop who voted in favor of Colorado's concealed-carry law in 2003.
Most states require training to carry a concealed weapon, the Associate Press reported. Firearms instructors show students how to load, unload, hold and fire a gun as well as proper ways to store it. Only a handful of states let people complete an online course for the permit: Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia and Wyoming.
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The measure in Colorado received only a handful of Republican votes.
"We allow people to obtain full, four-year college degrees online. Why wouldn't you be allowed to obtain the training for a concealed carry weapons permit completely online?" argued Republican Sen. Greg Brophy.
But many lawmakers were shocked to learn the ease with which someone could get a concealed-carry training certificate online.
Bill co-sponsor, Democratic Rep. Jenise May, said one of her staffers managed to get a certificate in less an hour by answering eight questions and skipping a training video.
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Colorado county sheriffs, despite opposing other gun control measures, support the new permit regulations. Chris Olson, the executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, said the sheriffs believed online training wasn’t enough to learn proper safety procedures.
"My point of view is, nobody knows everything about firearm safety," said Kevin Holroyd, who runs Colorado Concealed Carry. Holroyd's Aurora business offers in-person training that lasts eight hours and covers fundamentals, including showing people to always point the gun in a safe direction and keep finger away from the trigger until ready to shoot.