02/25/2011 01:59 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Colorado Gun Bill Clears Committee With Bipartisan Support

A bill that would give all legal gunowners in Colorado the option to carry a concealed weapon without a permit cleared committee on Thursday with bipartisan support.

House Bill 1205 (embedded below), sponsored by Republican Chris Holbert, proposed making it legal for anyone who passes the state's instant criminal background check--currently required for the purchase of any handgun--to conceal a weapon without a permit.

According to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the pro-gun group that supports, and--according to the Denver Daily News--helped write the bill, HB1205 "is designed to do one thing: allow citizens who are legally eligible to possess handguns to carry that handgun concealed, without obtaining a costly, burdensome and bureaucratic permit."

Currently, the law allows citizens who pass the background check to open-carry weapons without a permit. However, anyone who wants to conceal a weapon must pay for a $152.50 permit from the state.

To demonstrate what he perceives as the absurdity of the current law, Holbert had a woman with a model handgun in a holster put on and take off a jacket over the gun to show the lack of practical difference between concealed and open carry.

If HB 1205 became law, Coloradans would still be required to have a permit to conceal weapons on most public spaces. It would still be illegal to carry weapons of any kind on public K-12 schools

The bill was approved on an 8-3 vote by the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, with all Republicans and two Democrats voting in favor.

Claire Levy, a Democrat from Boulder who objected to the bill, was quoted by the Colorado Independent as arguing that "[HB 1205] says that if you can open carry you can conceal carry as if the two were equivalent, and I don't think they are. I think it is a dangerous situation when people are walking around with concealed weapons and nobody knows who they are."

The Colorado Association of Police Chiefs also opposed the bill, calling the rules as the stand now a useful crime-fighting tool.

The bill will now face a vote on the House floor.