Sheriffs Ready to Defy Colorado Governor: “Won’t Bother Enforcing” Gun Control

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Colorado has become the epicenter of the gun control debate after Democrats introduced a package of legislation that would give Colorado the strictest gun control in the western half of the nation.

The set of five bills was approved by the Senate on Monday. Democrat sponsors of the legislation invoked Colorado’s mass shootings, as well as Newtown, CT to justify measures such as limited capacity magazines and more extensive background checks. (Source) An outright ban and gun confiscation was issued by Senate Bill 197 for anyone convicted of domestic violence.

Republicans voiced clear opposition. Beyond party lines, however, various sheriffs have stated that they will not enforce the package even as it is destined to be agreed to by the House and ultimately signed off in full by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County – Colorado’s third largest – has categorically stated that two of the bills are nearly impossible to enforce, and that he and other sheriffs intend to sue the state of Colorado if these bills are made law.

It was reported by the Greeley and Weld County Tribune that Sheriff Cooke doesn’t believe the proposed restrictions are practical, nor would they be effective:

“They’re feel-good, knee-jerk reactions that are unenforceable,” he said. 

Cooke said the bill requiring a $10 background check to legally transfer a gun would not keep firearms out of the hands of those who use them for violence. 

“Criminals are still going to get their guns,” he said. 

Cooke said the other bill would also technically ban all magazines because of a provision that outlaws any magazine that can be altered. He said all magazines can be altered to a higher capacity. (Source)

The bills have earned praise from Joe Biden, though, who issued his “Congrats to Colorado House and Senate for passing universal background checks,” via his Twitter account reports The Tribune.

It is evident that not only are an increasing number of states drawing lines in the sand against federal gun control efforts, but county sheriffs are set to take action even within those states that introduce laws in favor of restricting their citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Utah is another state whose sheriffs have been very vocal saying they are willing to die to protect the Second Amendment.

There are also indications that a backlash from Colorado businesses is underway, similar to gun manufacturers who have refused to sell to NY police and other government agencies in the wake of their strict gun control laws in Colorado’s east coast counterpart.

Boulder-based Magpul Industries, which manufactures firearm magazines among other products, has threatened to leave the state if it restricts magazine capacities. The company posted on its Facebook page instructions for purchasing “standard capacity magazines” in Colorado. 

From the same report posted at BIZPAC Review:

Joining firearm manufacturers’ threats to leave is the popular cable TVOutdoor Channel, (which) said it would stop taping hunting and fishing segments in Colorado if the state passes restrictive gun control legislation.

The U.S. gun control debate continues to reach new levels as an imminent U.N. gun control treaty could apply even more pressure. It still remains to be seen if sheriffs like John Cooke will make good on their words, or if they will abandon citizens to federal and state gun grabs as the heat intensifies.

Relevant Colorado Bills (numbers link to full text and research)

  • SB 195 Title: No On-line Training For Concealed Handgun Permits. Summary: In-person training necessary for concealed handgun license.
  • SB 197 Title: No Firearms For Domestic Violence Offenders. Summary: Anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order or convicted of domestic violence must relinquish guns within 24 hours. A judge could extend to 72 hours.
  • HB 1224 – Title: Prohibiting Large-capacity Ammunition Magazines. Summary: Crime to possess magazine capacity more than 15 rounds.
  • HB 1228 – Title: Payment For Background Checks For Gun Transfers. Summary: Fee for purchasers who need background checks.
  • HB 1229 – Title: Background Checks For Gun Transfers. Summary: Add a background-check requirement for many guns sold in private transactions. (Source for all summaries)

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