Peterson v. LaCabe

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Peterson v. LaCabe

Peterson v. LaCabe is a case challenging two provisions of Colorado's Concealed Handgun Licensing law, specific to the legal circumstances of the City & County of Denver, Colorado.

As Denver has an an open carry ban (which it has sued the state to protect this ban under the state constitution's home rule provisions and won in district court), the combination of this factor and the state's law against concealed carry without license combined together to deny Peterson his right to carry a functional firearm for personal protection while visiting Denver.

Gray Peterson is the plaintiff in this case (and frequent poster in the CalGuns forum). Alvin LaCabe is the first named defendant as the ex oficio sheriff of the County of Denver (He is called the Manager of Safety, and he is the issuer of Denver's Concealed Handgun Licenses). Peter Weir is the second named defendant the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety, which handles the determinations of which states Colorado will recognize for it's concealed handgun licensing provisions.

Peterson is a frequent visitor to the City of Denver, and applied for a CHL from the Denver Police Department (which acts as the designee for CHL applications for LaCabe). A month later he received a written letter of denial.

The attorney for this case is John Monroe, who is the Vice President of v. Toomer is a cousin case filed against a county probate judge (who are the issuing authorities for firearms licenses in Georgia). Peterson differentiates from the case due to the plaintiff applying for and being denied the license by Denver, and a denial of a license or registration is considered automatically an injury under Article III of the United States Constitution.


The case is case number 10-CV-00059-WDM-MEH. Docket from RECAP.

  • February 8, 2010: Amended Complaint filed, removing Sgt. Lawrence Valencia entirely and removing Alvin LaCabe's personal capacity from the suit.


This suit seeks to do two things.

1. To challenge Denver's enforcement of CRS 18-12-203(1)(a), which is the requirement that a person be a Colorado resident. Unlike all of the other jurisdictions in Colorado, Denver has an ban on carrying firearms openly, and only allows the concealed carrying of a firearm with a Colorado state-issued or recognized license.

2. To challenge the state's enforcement of CRS 18-12-213(1)(b)(I), which prohibits the recognition of non-resident licenses to carry. As Peterson possesses a carry license from the state of Florida, he would be able to carry a functional firearm for self defense in Denver if he were a resident of Florida. This effects residents of every state which does not recognize Colorado's licenses, including those from California.

This case may also influence case law in other jurisdictions which have significant restrictions against carrying functional firearms for personal protection, but issue licenses which eliminate those restrictions which non-residents cannot gain access to (CA, OR, SC, NY, MI, DC, HI).

-Gray Peterson

Donations to support case

Though individual CGF board members along with the plaintiffs are financially supporting the case, it is not a "CGF-official" case in the manner of Sykes and Pena, more similar to Palmer where there isn't direct CGF support (Second Amendment Foundation is the lead organizational group for Palmer).

A fund raising post was made by Gene Hoffman at the forum, which you can see here.