People v. Ford, No. 27274

Docket NºNo. 27274
Citation193 Colo. 459, 568 P.2d 26
Case DateAugust 15, 1977
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 26

568 P.2d 26
193 Colo. 459
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Robert Glen FORD a/k/a Robert Glen White, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 27274.
Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc.
Aug. 15, 1977.

[193 Colo. 460]

Page 27

Robert L. Russel, Dist. Atty., David H. Zook, Deputy Dist. Atty., Colorado Springs, for plaintiff-appellant.

Rollie R. Rogers, Colo. State Public Defender, James F. Dumas, Jr., Chief, Deputy State Public Defender, Carol L. Gerstl, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, for defendant-appellee.

CARRIGAN, Justice.

The defendant was arrested for discharging a firearm outside his home. He was charged with one misdemeanor, possession of a defaced firearm, 1 and one felony, possession of a weapon by a previous offender. 2 Habitual criminal charges 3 were predicated upon that felony count.

[193 Colo. 461] Defense counsel moved to dismiss the felony possession charge, contending that the statute's application to the defendant was unconstitutional because it violated his right to keep and bear arms in defense of his "home, person and property" as guaranteed by Colo.Const. Art. II, section 13. On the date set for trial, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing on the defendant's motion to dismiss. The only evidence presented was testimony by the defendant's wife. She stated that the three pistols and one rifle in question were all kept by here and her husband in their bedroom for her protection. Defendant did not testify.

The prosecution offered no evidence, but argued that the asserted constitutional provision should be raised as an affirmative defense at trial and a jury, properly instructed, should decide the underlying fact issue whether the defendant's purpose in

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keeping the guns was to defend his "home, person and property." Defense counsel, on the other hand, likened the motion to dismiss to a motion to suppress evidence, and argued that the trial judge could find the facts requisite to determining whether the constitutional provision applied.

On that basis, the trial court, without the aid of any precedent, ruled that section 18-12-108, C.R.S. 1973, was unconstitutional as applied in that it violated the defendant's right to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, and property, in direct contravention of Colo.Const. Art. II, Sec. 13. Thus, the court dismissed the felony charge of possession of firearms by a previous offender, and the four habitual criminal counts based on that charge.

Article II, section 13, of the Colorado Constitution provides:

"The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons."

This Court has previously held that section 18-12-108, C.R.S. 1973, the "felon with a weapon" statute, does not on its face violate Art. II, Sec. 13. People v. Blue, Colo., 544 P.2d 385 (1975). However, in that case the defendants did not contend that they were armed in order to defend their persons, homes or property. Therefore the court in Blue left unanswered the question whether...

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16 practice notes
  • Robertson v. City and County of Denver, No. 93SA91
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 2, 1994
    ...only the question of whether the law at issue constituted a legitimate exercise of the state's police power. Likewise, in People v. Ford, 193 Colo. 459, 568 P.2d 26 (1977), we concluded that a "flat prohibition" on the right of certain felons to possess firearms was subject to the guarantee......
  • Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis, Supreme Court Case No. 18SC817
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 29, 2020
    ...13 clearly proceeded from the premise that our constitutional provision protects persons convicted of felonies, see People v. Ford , 193 Colo. 459, 568 P.2d 26, 28 (1977) ; Blue , 544 P.2d at 390,10 a conclusion that stands in contrast to some federal courts’ pronouncements regarding the Se......
  • People v. Jefferson, Nos. 86SA464
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 11, 1988
    ...that aggravated recklessness or cold-bloodedness which has come to be known as "universal malice." See Czajkowski, 193 Colo. at 356, 568 P.2d at 26; Haymaker, 716 P.2d at 118 ("[G]eneral Assembly may establish more severe penalties for acts that it believes have greater social Moreover, def......
  • Beckett v. People, No. 89SC417
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • October 29, 1990
    ...§ 18-12-106 "does not abrogate an ex-felon's right to legitimately use self-defense." Id., at 103, 544 P.2d at 391. In People v. Ford, 193 Colo. 459, 568 P.2d 26 (1977), we again emphasized that statutes enacted pursuant to the police power of the state may not restrict or regulate the righ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Robertson v. City and County of Denver, No. 93SA91
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 2, 1994
    ...only the question of whether the law at issue constituted a legitimate exercise of the state's police power. Likewise, in People v. Ford, 193 Colo. 459, 568 P.2d 26 (1977), we concluded that a "flat prohibition" on the right of certain felons to possess firearms was subject to the......
  • Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis, Supreme Court Case No. 18SC817
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 29, 2020
    ...13 clearly proceeded from the premise that our constitutional provision protects persons convicted of felonies, see People v. Ford , 193 Colo. 459, 568 P.2d 26, 28 (1977) ; Blue , 544 P.2d at 390,10 a conclusion that stands in contrast to some federal courts’ pronouncements regarding the Se......
  • People v. Jefferson, Nos. 86SA464
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 11, 1988
    ...aggravated recklessness or cold-bloodedness which has come to be known as "universal malice." See Czajkowski, 193 Colo. at 356, 568 P.2d at 26; Haymaker, 716 P.2d at 118 ("[G]eneral Assembly may establish more severe penalties for acts that it believes have greater social Mor......
  • Beckett v. People, No. 89SC417
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • October 29, 1990
    ..."does not abrogate an ex-felon's right to legitimately use self-defense." Id., at 103, 544 P.2d at 391. In People v. Ford, 193 Colo. 459, 568 P.2d 26 (1977), we again emphasized that statutes enacted pursuant to the police power of the state may not restrict or regulate the right ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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