DENVER (KDVR) — Officials tell FOX31 a gun fell off of state Rep. Richard Holtorf as he made his way back into the House chambers for a vote.
No one was hurt, but this led to questions on what the law is surrounding concealed carry at the Colorado Capitol.
“[We] are aware an incident took place at the Capitol today and we are looking into the incident,” Colorado State Patrol told FOX31.
Holtorf, a Republican, represents District 64 that includes Baca, Bent, Crowley, Elbert, Kiowa, Las Animas, Lincoln, Prowers, and Washington counties.
Are guns allowed in the Colorado Capitol?
The Problem Solvers did some digging and came across a state law, which says: “Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit holders are also not allowed to carry a weapon inside the Capitol per CRS 18-12-214 (4).”
State Rep. Tom Sullivan, a Democrat and gun-control advocate, said lawmakers actually circumvent the metal detectors.
“We have our badges on. We have another lanyard that gives us access when doors are closed, that we can open doors and move on in,” Sullivan added. While inside the Capitol on Monday, a FOX31 crew and other members of the public were required to walk through the metal detectors.
When CSP was asked to confirm if there are exceptions to this conceal carry law inside the Capitol, they did not answer the question directly.
“Currently, we’re looking at all applicable laws as it relates to this incident and how they may apply specifically,” a spokesperson said.
Democrats respond to Holtorf gun incident
Meanwhile, Sullivan said this incident is ironic.
“These are people that profess to be law-abiding, responsible gun owners and to have something like that happen appears to me to be an irresponsible act,” Sullivan said.
The Problem Solvers confirmed that Holtorf has a concealed carry permit that was updated last year. It’s unclear how long he’s had this permit. He declined to comment.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Alec Garnett responded to the incident.
“In Colorado, we expect firearm owners to be responsible at all times, and that certainly includes when they are carrying their firearms in the state Capitol,” Garnett said. “Irresponsible behavior could have dire consequences. This incident was unacceptable and created a dangerous situation for lawmakers, staff and the public visiting the Capitol.”
“We are looking at existing laws and rules and what options might exist that would prevent this from happening again in the Capitol,” Garnett added.