Colorado sheriffs: Sorry, but these new gun laws would be kind of unenforceable

posted at 4:41 pm on March 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Colorado is waiting on Gov. Hickenlooper to sign a couple of new gun-control bills passed by the legislature to be signed into law, including a measure that will limit the sale of high-capacity magazines (which they have so augustly defined as 15 or more rounds) and another expanding requirements for background checks on firearms purchases; funnily enough, the legislation looks pretty similar to some of the ideas the Democrats have been peddling in Washington, and Vice President Biden extended his hearty congratulations to the legislature’s successful endeavor:

Some of the very glaring problems with these seemingly innocuous measures, however, is that they will still not keep guns out of the hands of criminals, they’ll impose undue burdens on law-abiding citizens, and of course the itty-bitty fact that many magazines can be altered to higher capacities — making enforcement pretty darn difficult, and at least one Colorado sheriff is speaking up. From the Greeley Tribune:

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said he won’t enforce either gun-control measure waiting to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper, saying the laws are “unenforceable” and would “give a false sense of security.” …

Cooke said Democratic lawmakers are uninformed but are scrambling in reaction to recent tragedies in the nation.

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

Cooke said he, like other county sheriffs, “won’t bother enforcing” the laws because it will be impossible for them to keep track of how the requirements are being met by gun owners. He said he and other sheriffs are considering a lawsuit against the state to block the measures if they are signed into law.

And he might not be the only one, via Fox News:

The sheriff told the news outlet that he and other county sheriffs “won’t bother enforcing” the laws because it won’t be possible to keep track of how gun owners are complying with the new requirements.

Cooke is joined in his opposition to the proposals by El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who told an angry packed crowd at a meeting on Thursday in Colorado Springs he would stand firm against the bills.

“I can’t tell you when those were sold, bought and purchased. As far as I’m concerned, they were all pre-July 1 if the governor does sign this bill,” he said.

Maketa said the proposed laws were hastily crafted and at least one would be unenforceable. A number of Colorado sheriffs are concerned the laws could lead to registration of gun owners, he said.

Colorado legislators may have rushed through a sloppily-worded, impractical set of laws that will be ineffective in quelling crime and will place still more arbitrary burdens on law-abiding gun owners, say what?

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