Several weeks after Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a package of gun control measures that criminalize private transfers and ban magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammo, more that half of the state’s sheriffs plan on taking a stand against the new laws in court.
That is to say, 37 of the state’s 62 sheriffs have agreed to file a joint lawsuit against the new gun control measures, arguing that they violate the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to prevent crime or future mass shootings.
Weld County Sheriff John Cooke spoke to the Denver Post about the lawsuit. He said that with the representation of pro-Second Amendment attorney David Kopel, the adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, the group plans to file a lawsuit in the next few weeks.
While most sheriffs have signed on, several are holding out, including the board of directors for the County Sheriffs of Colorado (CSOC). Chris Olson, the executive director of CSOC, said that the association publicly opposed the new laws but will not participate in the lawsuit.
An excerpt from the CSOC official position on gun control:
The County Sheriffs of Colorado know first hand that strict gun control laws do not deter criminals from getting firearms illegally and committing crimes. Rather, they hurt law-abiding citizens who may be left unprotected because law enforcement cannot arrive in time to stop a criminal’s bullet once he [sic] has pulled the trigger.
“The Board of Directors made a decision this was not something that the association should join in,” said Olson, adding that he anticipates that more sheriffs will join the effort to block the laws from taking effect.
Encapsulating this defeatist attitude was Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver, who agreed in an open letter to his citizens that the laws would not “have any positive effect on public safety” nor would they “prevent another massacre” but still doesn’t see a need to fight it out in court.
“I’m not going to sue anybody for anything. I understand the frustration but I wouldn’t do that,” Masters admitted to the Post.
Meanwhile, those who are willing to stand up for the Second Amendment took a different tone.
Sheriff Justin Smith of Lamar County appeared on Fox News to discuss the lawsuit. He offered a candid analysis about the futility of the new gun laws.
“The reality is it’s not the magazine capacity, it’s really the heart of man. We have criminals out there; we need criminal control and crime control,” said Smith.
“We don’t need gun control. It hasn’t worked … It really just falls on the law-abiding and keeps them from being able to protect themselves,” he continued.
For more on his perspective, see Fox Video below: