Colorado sheriffs who earlier this year stated they were not going to enforce a series of strict gun control laws passed by Democrats who control both chambers of the state legislature appear to have sparked a similar movement by other sheriffs around the country.
Earlier this year, following arm-twisting by Vice President Joe Biden, Democrats unilaterally rammed through a series of gun control laws. While the bills were being debated all of the state’s sheriff’s came out in opposition to the bill arguing that not only were they unconstitutional, they were unenforceable as well.
However, during public testimony the Democrats would only allow one sheriff to testify per bill despite many of them taking the time to drive down to the legislature to express their concerns.
One of the laws outlaws the sale of magazines with a capacity of over 15 rounds or that can be readily modified to hold more than 15 rounds. As most magazines have a removable plate to ease in cleaning, they can effectively be modified. Thus, the law’s plain wording essentially makes all magazine sales illegal.
In an attempt to placate gun owners, lawmakers grandfathered in those who currently own magazines with a capacity of over 15 rounds. The problem is there is no way to confirm when a person purchased one of the magazines.
Colorado’s Weld County John Cooke who is running for state senator announced he has no intention of enforcing the new laws or any other law that appears to be unconstitutional.
Cooke explained to $$$$$ that there is no way to tell the difference between a 30 round magazine he purchased prior to the July 1 date of the ban and one bought after the ban. Additionally, there is nothing stopping a Colorado resident from driving across the border to Wyoming to complete the sales transaction. Thus, even if there were a way to verify the magazine was manufactured after the ban date, there is no way to verify it was purchased in the state.
Cooke, along with a majority of other sheriff’s in the state even went so far as to sue the state over the new laws.
It appears Cooke and the other Colorado sheriffs may have sparked a similar movement by sheriffs around the country.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, New York passed gun control laws that were so strict they initially banned all magazines including those used by police. The legislature was forced to go back and modify the law.
However, two sheriffs in the state have publicly came out and said they would not enforce the new laws, claiming that the laws were unconstitutional.
In Liberty, Fla. a sheriff released a man arrested by a deputy on charges of carrying a concealed firearm. In California, a delegation of sheriffs met with Gov. Jerry Brown in an attempt to persuade him to veto several bills passed by the legislature including a ban on semi-automatic weapons, regardless of caliber, that had a detachable magazine.
Sheriffs traditionally have broad law enforcement powers. In Delaware, their authority goes back to before the American Revolution. Sheriff’s in most states are the supreme law enforcement authority in their county. Additionally, they are not appointed by government officials, but are instead elected, making them directly accountable to the people in their counties.