I've been covering the sheriffs of Colorado for some time now, especially in light of the fact that Colorado gun grabbers were pushing their agenda so hard following the Sandy Hook shooting. I first wrote about and have become friends with Hinsdale County Sheriff Ron Bruce, and his personal stand in his county against new gun laws. I covered Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said he will not enforce the new state gun laws, saying they were "unenforceable" and arguing that they give a "false sense of security." At the beginning of April, I wrote about Elbert County Colorado Sheriff Shayne Heap as he blasted Barack Obama using his state as political grandstand for gun control. Well now, these sheriffs are standing up to Governor John Hickenlooper and the Colorado legislature that has been controlled by Socialist Democrats and 54 of 62 Colorado Sheriffs are supporting the filing of a lawsuit against the new gun laws.
At a news conference held at the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank, the sheriffs and representatives from the Colorado Farm Bureau, Women for Concealed Carry and members of Outdoor Buddies — a charitable organization for disabled individuals — explained their case Friday.
The lawsuit claims that the magazine bill, which limits gun magazines to 15 rounds, and the background check bill, which requires background checks for all transfers and sales of firearms, are unconstitutional.
The suit alleges the bills violate the 14th Amendment — plaintiffs claim aspects of the magazine bill are vaguely worded, which they believe would violate the 14th Amendment — the Second Amendment and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
"These bills do nothing to make Colorado a safer place to live, to work, to play, to raise a family," said Weld County Sheriff John Cooke. "It should never have even gotten to this point in the first place."
Gilpin County Sheriff Bruce Hartman believes the bills that were signed into law could have benefited from the input of the sheriffs. "In the past, (the legislature) has consulted sheriffs on DUI bills and many things like that,'" he said. "In this case, they did not wish to have our input. I think that is very obvious, and that's disappointing."
While there is clearly a violation of the U.S. Constitution, there seems to be some enforcement issues as well.
Greg Campbell writes,
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said the laws are not only unconstitutional, but also confusing and unenforceable.
For example, the ban on magazines was discussed by its Democratic sponsors as applying only to those that hold more than 15 rounds, in response to mass-shooting incidents in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.
But the law also outlaws any magazine that can be easily converted to hold more than 15 rounds, which applies to practically all magazines with a removable base plate that can be replaced with an after-market extender.
After July 1, the owners of such magazines cannot sell them, loan them or give them away. In effect, it means that even if they give their weapon to someone else for safekeeping — or, in the case of one wheelchair-bound plaintiff who spoke Friday, to hold momentarily as he gets in and out of his chair — they will be breaking the law.
The background-check requirement is also unduly burdensome, the sheriffs say. Maketa gave as an example a neighbor of his who, under the new law, would have to perform a background check on his fiancé if he left his firearm with her when he deploys with the military.
Maketa said, "It's not a matter of whether I choose to enforce it or not. It's unenforceable."
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has given their support to the lawsuit. In a statement, Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said "The National Rifle Association, the many plaintiffs in this case, and the law-abiding gun owners in the state of Colorado know that the recently enacted gun control laws are unconstitutional."
The Democrats want to make it about politics. They maintain the public is on their side, and say legislators carefully crafted the proposals that were signed.
“These laws were not constructed haphazardly,” said Democratic Sen. Mary Hodge, the sponsor of the magazine limit. “They were constructed to protect us from massacres like the ones we suffered in Aurora and Newtown.”
Some of the relatives of victims of the Colorado shooting criticized the sheriffs for filing the lawsuit and accused them of playing politics. “As a parent who lost my son Alex at the Aurora theater shooting, I ask these people to put themselves in my place,” Tom Sullivan said in a statement. “I do not understand why these politicians are picking guns over people.”
The problem that Senator Hodge and Mr. Sullivan don't understand is that it is the Democrats and the gun control mentality of those who are most emotional in the issue that are playing with people's lives and they are doing it in the arena of politics.
Democrats and gun grabbers have an agenda. The rest of us just want to be left alone and would like for them to follow the law, not make up new ones.
The lawsuit involves sheriffs from 54 of Colorado’s 64 counties, most representing rural, gun-friendly areas of the state.
The sheriffs have been calling on lawmakers in the state to listen to them and they have appealed to the Constitution, but the Socialist Democrats have taken over the legislature and are hell bent on helping to push the very agenda the leader of their party, Barack Hussein Obama, is attempting to force down the throats of the American people. I look forward to the outcome of this lawsuit.