Colorado Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Dysfunctional New Gun Laws

By Matt Vespa | December 16, 2013 | 3:30pm EST

Colorado has been the epicenter for the renewed debate over the Second Amendment since the tragic shootings at Arapahoe High School and Aurora.  The recall of State Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron last September for their support of Gov. Hickenlooper's new gun control laws was a punch to the gut to the anti-gun left.  But, this debate just had a new sheriff arrive in town - literally.

Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County, Colorado says that enforcement of his state's new gun laws that went into effect on July 1 won't be a priority.  Why? The parameters are beyond vague - and he says they violate the Second Amendment, according to the New York Times article published yesterday.

In a speech detailing the problems with Colorado's new gun laws, he "held up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he 'maybe' obtained afterward."

"He shuffles the magazines, which look identical, and then challenges the audience to tell the difference." 'How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?' he asks."

All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado joined a federal lawsuit against these new gun regulations. It was ruled that the sheriffs can't sue through their offices, but can do so privately.   Nevertheless, the court did say that they have "wide discretion" over how the laws are enforced.

Yet, even those who didn't join the lawsuit noted that enforcing the new laws probably wouldn't be on their list of priorities either, the article says:

"Sheriff W. Pete Palmer of Chaffee County, one of the seven sheriffs who declined to join the federal lawsuit because he felt duty-bound to carry out the laws, said he was unlikely to aggressively enforce them. He said enforcement poses 'huge practical difficulties,' and besides, he has neither the resources nor the pressure from his constituents to make active enforcement a high priority. Violations of the laws are misdemeanors.

'All law enforcement agencies consider the community standards - what is it that our community wishes us to focus on - and I can tell you our community is not worried one whit about background checks or high-capacity magazines,' he said."

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