People v. Garcia, No. C-1732

Docket NºNo. C-1732
Citation595 P.2d 228, 197 Colo. 550
Case DateMay 21, 1979
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 228

595 P.2d 228
197 Colo. 550
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Petitioner,
v.
Timothy Anthony GARCIA, Respondent.
No. C-1732.
Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc.
May 21, 1979.

[197 Colo. 551]

Page 229

Eugene L. Farish, Dist. Atty., Monte Vista, for petitioner.

Montano & Encinas, Duane Montano, Denver, for respondent.

ROVIRA, Justice.

[197 Colo. 552] The People appeal the ruling of the county court, affirmed by the district court, declaring section 18-12-106(1)(d), C.R.S.1973, to be unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. We reverse.

The challenged provision states:

"18-12-106. Prohibited use of weapons. (1) A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if:

"(d) He has in his possession a firearm while he is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a narcotic drug or dangerous drug. Possession of a permit issued under section 18-12-105(2)(c) is no defense to a violation of this subsection (1).

The statute was declared to be unconstitutional on its face by the court in granting the defendant's pre-trial motion to dismiss. Our review of the district court opinion addresses two issues: first, is the statute

Page 230

overbroad in that it proscribes constitutionally protected behavior; second, is the provision so vague that it deprives the defendant of due process of law?

We note at the outset the fundamental principles which guide our review of constitutional attacks on legislation: a statute is presumed to be constitutional, and the party attacking the provision's validity has the burden of proving that it is unconstitutional; People v. Summit, 183 Colo. 421, 517 P.2d 850 (1974); also, if a statute is susceptible to different interpretations, one of which is in accord with constitutional principles, we will adopt that constitutional construction. People v. District Court, 185 Colo. 78, 521 P.2d 1254 (1974).

I.

The district court stated that the statute was overbroad because commonly accepted behavior falls within the purview of the provision. 1 We disagree.

The overbreadth doctrine is applicable to legislative enactments which threaten the exercise of fundamental or express constitutional rights, such as First Amendment freedoms, Bolles v. People, 189 Colo. 394, 541 P.2d 80 (1975), or the right to bear arms. City of Lakewood v. Pillow, 180 Colo. 20, 501 P.2d 744 (1972). The basis for the position of the district court was that section 18-12-106(1)(d), C.R.S.1973, encompassed behavior which was protected by the constitutional right to bear arms. Colo.Const. Art. II, Sec. 13.

The right to bear arms is not absolute, and it can be restricted by the state's valid exercise of its police power. People v. Blue, 190 Colo. 95, 544 P.2d 385 (1975). Thus, the inclusion of the allegedly commonplace behavior within the purview of the statute does not necessarily [197 Colo. 553] render the act overbroad. The determinative factor in an overbreadth analysis is not the prohibition of acts which are commonplace, but rather the prohibition of acts which are legitimate. The standard for the determination of legitimacy is whether the legislative act was within the proper exercise of its police power. An act is within the state's police power if it is reasonably related to the public health, welfare, and safety. Love v. Bell, 171 Colo. 27, 465 P.2d 118 (1970).

In City of Lakewood, supra, we noted that the ordinance at issue there prohibited legitimate acts, such as business operations of gunsmiths, pawnbrokers and...

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53 practice notes
  • Robertson v. City and County of Denver, No. 93SA91
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 2, 1994
    ...person, and property, the court never determined the status of the right to bear arms in self-defense. Finally, in People v. Garcia, 197 Colo. 550, 595 P.2d 228 (1979), we upheld, against a vagueness and overbreadth challenge, the constitutionality of a statute which prohibited the possessi......
  • Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis, Supreme Court Case No. 18SC817
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 29, 2020
    ...that in Pillow we subjected the challenged statute to an overbreadth analysis under article II, section 13. See also People v. Garcia , 197 Colo. 550, 595 P.2d 228, 230 (1979) (holding that overbreadth applies to restrictions on the right to bear arms). We have since made clear in Graves th......
  • People v. Pratt, No. 86SA401
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • July 5, 1988
    ...to the degree of precision that can be reasonably Page 687 expected of a legislative enactment. Rowerdink, at 991; People v. Garcia, 197 Colo. 550, 553, 595 P.2d 228, 230 The People argue that People v. Young, 192 Colo. 65, 555 P.2d 1160 (1976), which rejected a vagueness challenge to the a......
  • People in Interest of C. M., No. 80SA92
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 29, 1981
    ...one of which comports with constitutional requirements, the constitutional construction must be adopted. E. g., People v. Garcia, 197 Colo. 550, 595 P.2d 228 (1979); People v. Washburn, 197 Colo. 419, 593 P.2d 962 (1979); Duprey v. Anderson, 184 Colo. 70, 518 P.2d 807 Generally, one is not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
53 cases
  • Robertson v. City and County of Denver, No. 93SA91
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 2, 1994
    ...person, and property, the court never determined the status of the right to bear arms in self-defense. Finally, in People v. Garcia, 197 Colo. 550, 595 P.2d 228 (1979), we upheld, against a vagueness and overbreadth challenge, the constitutionality of a statute which prohibited the possessi......
  • Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis, Supreme Court Case No. 18SC817
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 29, 2020
    ...that in Pillow we subjected the challenged statute to an overbreadth analysis under article II, section 13. See also People v. Garcia , 197 Colo. 550, 595 P.2d 228, 230 (1979) (holding that overbreadth applies to restrictions on the right to bear arms). We have since made clear in Graves th......
  • People v. Pratt, No. 86SA401
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • July 5, 1988
    ...to the degree of precision that can be reasonably Page 687 expected of a legislative enactment. Rowerdink, at 991; People v. Garcia, 197 Colo. 550, 553, 595 P.2d 228, 230 The People argue that People v. Young, 192 Colo. 65, 555 P.2d 1160 (1976), which rejected a vagueness challenge to the a......
  • People in Interest of C. M., No. 80SA92
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 29, 1981
    ...one of which comports with constitutional requirements, the constitutional construction must be adopted. E. g., People v. Garcia, 197 Colo. 550, 595 P.2d 228 (1979); People v. Washburn, 197 Colo. 419, 593 P.2d 962 (1979); Duprey v. Anderson, 184 Colo. 70, 518 P.2d 807 Generally, one is not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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