Firearm Policies, Procedures & Guidelines (Hinsdale County Sheriffs Office)

Caroline Curtis filed this request with the Hinsdale County Sheriffs Office of Hinsdale County, CO.


From: Caroline Curtis

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

Any and all policies, procedures, directives, memorandums, and any other guiding materials regarding matters pertaining to firearm acquisition, licensure, use, and transfer, including, but not limited to, the following:
• policies and procedures on the issuance of firearms permits and licenses. (Please note that this point is not a request for identities of individual permit/license holders, but is rather a request for governmental policies and parameters regarding the process and regulations by which one may obtain a license or permit. If separate strictures exist for each, provision of both would be greatly appreciated.)
• policies and procedures on the revocation of firearms permits and licenses.
• any and all available policies and procedures regarding local firearms policies. Please provide all such materials that alter or supplement departmental procedures.
Please include all available segregable data.
Please also provide all available data, statistics, or reports regarding matters pertaining to gun acquisition, licensure, use, and transfer, including, but not limited to, the following:
• the issuance of firearms permits and licenses.
• the revocation of firearms permits and licenses.
• the suspension of firearms permits and licenses.
• the renewal of firearms permits and licenses.
• incidents involving the use of a firearm.
If various policies or reports exist dependent on the type of firearm, provision of all applicable materials would be greatly appreciated. Should they be voluminous, provision of materials on rolling basis would be greatly appreciated.
Should your agency believe that any additional policies, procedures, reports or other analysis pertaining to firearm acquisition, licensure, use, transfer, deaths, incidents, or any related issues may reside with another agency or agencies, indication of such agencies would be greatly appreciated.
Please notify us if further clarification is necessary.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.


Caroline Curtis

From: Ron Bruce

Ms. Curtis-

Quite honestly I find your request extremely odd and it almost seems as though you’ve not done your homework here, at least in regards to Colorado Sheriffs. I’ll respond numerically.

1) We do not issue firearms permits

2) Since we do not issue firearms permits, there are none to suspend or revoke

3) We have no local firearms policies and simply abide by Colorado Revised Statutes in that respect

4) We do not issue firearms permits/licenses

5) See #2

6) See #2

7) See #1

8) We have had no firearms incidents in the nearly 10 years I have been the Hinsdale County Sheriff. I attribute that a lot to the fact that most of my citizens here are armed. An armed populace is typically a polite populace (there are obvious exceptions, the most glaring being Chicago). As I heard a Louisiana Sheriff two days ago state, “It is not about the gun, it’s about what is in a man’s heart that matters.”

In closing Ms. Curtis, I am simply quite interested to know what your “end game” here is, in regards to this request. I’d love to hear from you in that regard. I’ll not hold your feet to the fire and demand a 3 day response.


Sheriff R.B. Bruce, Hinsdale County Sheriff, Lake City, CO 81235

From: Caroline Curtis

Hi Sheriff Bruce,
I'm so sorry for the delay in my response, and appreciate your patience. When I originally sent this request to the Colorado Attorney General's Office, they actually suggested I reach out to all county sheriffs. Given the amount, I have been receiving a lot of responses. Many have stated that they follow Colorado statues regarding permits, as I see you do, so I do apologize for that aspect of the request.

I admit I am surprised to see that there have been no incidents of gun violence in Hinsdale County over the past 10 years. By incidents I mean crimes in which a firearm was reportedly used. I do not doubt that your armed populace is a polite one, but at the same time I recognize that not all crimes involving use of a firearm are intentional; accidents do happen.

And as for my end game, I am simply interested in looking at different firearms policies in the U.S. I am not coming at this request from any particular angle besides general interest.

I hope this provides some clarification, and please do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions, etc.

Caroline Curtis

From: Ron Bruce

Ms. Curtis-

Thank you for your kind and professional response. Base on some clarification that you have provided, we did in fact have two accidental self-inflicted shootings in my nearly 10 year tenure in this position. I got tunnel vision and was thinking felonious incidents only. I cannot quickly provide specific dates. We had a camper up at the Deer Lakes Campground along County Road 50 accidently shoot himself in the abdominal area (as I recall) with a single action .44 Magnum revolver. He survived without any debilitating injury (quite lucky). We had a middle aged white female shoot herself in the hand with a Glock .45 GAP caliber pistol, through careless handling. Extensive surgery was required to rebuild damaged areas. That occurred at the local defacto shooting range at “Klawson Mesa” alongside County Road 30.

I hope you will find this of some help. In spite of the above, we have had residents and visitors alike, spend countless thousands of days in the field recreationally shooting without incident. I believe we should concentrate on the overwhelming positive side of the topic vs the miniscule few sad and tragic incidents. People are at far more risk simply driving to the grocery store than while engaged in recreational shooting.

Very Respectfully,

Hinsdale County Sheriff Ron Bruce


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