Colo. sheriffs refuse to enforce proposed gun laws

Sheriff John Cooke : Colorado’s new gun laws are “feel-good, knee-jerk reactions that are unenforceable.” Photo credit

Colorado lawmakers are following through on their intent — whether it makes sense or not — to enact highly restrictive gun control legislation. And the state’s sheriffs are carrying out their threat to not enforce it.

This week, Colorado legislators passed two measures — both awaiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s expected signature — that Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said are “unenforceable” and would “give a false sense of security,” according to The Greeley Tribune.

A bill passed late Friday night would require universal background checks for all weapon transfers. Earlier in the week, lawmakers approved a measure limiting magazine capacities to 15 rounds.

Cooke said that although the Democratic legislators’ hearts are in the right place, they really didn’t think through the laws before passing them.

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

Cooke said the $10 background check provision will only be followed by law-abiding citizens — not law-breakers.

“Criminals are still going to get their guns,” he said, adding that the magazine restriction bill would theoretically ban all magazines, regardless of capacity. The restriction would also ban any magazine capable of being altered — and in Cooke’s estimation, any magazine can be modified.

Not only would Crooke join other county sheriffs in refusing to enforce the legislation, he said, but they were considering a lawsuit if the governor signs the measure into law. Hickenlooper is expected to sign both bills within the next two weeks, according to the Tribune’s Whitney Phillips.

Shortly after Friday night’s vote, Hickenlooper tweeted his thanks:

“Special thx to Matt Hastings and Gov’s Office interns for handling 1,165 calls today (1 every 30 secs) related to the gun bills.”

Magpul Industries, a Colorado gun manufacturer that has threatened to leave the state if Colorado tightens its firearm restrictions, tweeted the governor back:

“@ hickforco what % of the calls were against the legislation?”

Read more at The Greeley Tribune.


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