He’ll be more careful with gun, lawmaker promises
DENVER — Rep. Jared Wright’s leaving his handgun unattended in a House committee room may have raised a few eyebrows around the Colorado Capitol, but he didn’t break any legislative rules in doing so.
He may, however, have violated a major tenet that anyone who has ever worked in law enforcement shares: Maintain possession of your firearm at all times.
The Fruita Republican was admonished by the Colorado State Patrol and the governor’s office for leaving his handgun — for which he has a concealed-carry permit — in his bag in a committee room Feb. 6 after the end of a hearing, coincidentally on a bill dealing with concealed-carry laws.
A spokesman for the governor said that his office, the State Patrol and the office of the state attorney general met to determine what, if any, course of action needed to be taken in the wake of the incident. After determining Wright was legally entitled to carry a firearm as a member of law enforcement, it was decided that no formal action was required.
“(Wright) agreed to be more careful about keeping (his) gun in possession,” Eric Brown, a spokesman for the governor, wrote in an email Thursday.
Wright admits that he forgot the bag, but only for a few minutes.
“I was out of the room for literally four or five minutes, and I had my folder with me but I realized I left my bag downstairs,” Wright said. “I went back down to get it, and it was gone. The (House) sergeant down there didn’t know where it was, so I came back to my office, and my aide said the sergeants were looking for me, and I got it back.”
Though Wright hasn’t brought the gun back to the Capitol building since then, he expects to, promising “to be more careful” in the future.
As a certified police officer — Wright worked for the Fruita Police Department for five years before being forced to resign or face termination over allegations of dishonesty — Wright said he has a legal right to carry a weapon into a public building even though the general public doesn’t, particularly in the Capitol.
“As the speaker (Mark Ferrandino) said, it’s something that’s gone on in this building since it was built,” Wright said. “If I had any doubts that I was breaking the law, I wouldn’t have brought it in.”