By: Robert Davis
As a bill to establish a red flag gun confiscation law in Colorado moves through the legislature, several counties have declared themselves to be Second Amendment “sanctuary counties.”
“El Paso County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday declaring the county a ‘Second Amendment preservation county,’ cementing their opposition to a red flag gun bill in the Legislature,” The Gazette reported earlier this month.
“I have said to my constituents that their focus on the Second Amendment is exactly right,” Sen. Bob Gardner (R-El Paso) told the legislature. “I think this is first and foremost a case about property. What this red flag bill allows is for the state to come and take my property because they consider my property to be dangerous, or consider me to be dangerous.”
More counties are joining the list of Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties, and newly elected Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser is calling on sheriffs who won’t enforce red flag laws to resign.
“If a sheriff cannot follow the law, the sheriff cannot do his or her job,” Weiser said during testimony before a Senate committee last week. “The right thing to do for a sheriff who says ‘I can’t follow the law’ is to resign.”
Weiser said county commissions who don’t want their sheriffs enforcing unconstitutional laws are acting on solid ground. He said he believes, however, that once the law goes through the judicial process, it will be found constitutional, and therefore must be enforced by county sheriffs.
Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, a leading vocal critic of the red flag bill, said that whether the AG’s comments were directed at him or not, he intends on upholding his oath to the constitution.
“The sponsors admitted that this bill isn’t about mental health and it is instead about removing guns from “dangerous” people,” Reams wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s obvious that this bill a complete attack against the Constitution and firearms owners disguised as a mental health or public safety law.”
Reams also said he doesn’t plan to follow Weiser’s advice to resign if the bill becomes law.
“I don’t have the power to undo an unconstitutional law, but I certainly have the duty to not enforce something that is unconstitutional,” Reams said.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser - photo courtesy of Facebook
Recall Efforts Intensify
As chaos descends on Colorado’s state legislature, grassroots recall efforts to oust Democrats over perceived overreach are hitting a fever pitch around the state.
“People are upset, so we’re seeing grassroots organizations filing for recalls,” House Minority Leader Patrick Neville told Gunpowder Magazine. “And unlike the establishment Republicans in 2013, I won’t sit idly by.”
Neville is referring to the recall effort that occurred after Democrats shoved sweeping gun control legislation through the state government in 2013 and which led to the ouster of two Democratic representatives. Republican leadership at the time didn’t use their platform to support the recall efforts, something Neville says he plans to do.
Voters are particularly riled by the red flag bill, National Popular Vote bill, and SB 181, the latter of which would curtail oil and gas developments in the state.
Neville and others in Republican leadership contend that a new election is needed because the Democrats’ agenda is too radical.
“They’re trying to pass all the nasty stuff now so they can look as if they’re moderate next year,” Neville said. “They’re relying on their voters having short memories.”
Robert Davis is a general assignment reporter for Gunpowder Magazine. You can contact him with tips or comments at RobertDavis0414@gmail.com or on Twitter @Davisonthebeat.