A new Colorado law aimed at shutting down access to guns – by imposing an across-the-board requirement for background checks for all gun deals – has closed down a favorite tool of those opposing firearms rights – the gun buyback program.
The situation has been reported by the Denver Post, which said organizers canceled a planned buyback effort after Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said the event, set for Aug. 4, would be nearly impossible to do.
“Procedurally we can’t follow through at this time,” the sheriff told the newspaper, even though he said the effort would be legal.
Colorado’s government, controlled by Democrats in the state House, Senate and the governor’s office, over the last session rammed through a slew of new gun restrictions, regulations and requirements.
One of them demands that buyers go to a licensed firearms dealer and undergo a background check for even private sales.
But officials report the “InstaCheck” systems are not mobile.
So for each purchase in a buyback program, the “purchaser” would have been required to travel to a gun dealer for the check.
Pelle told the Post one solution would be for the group organizing the buyback – in this case a private group called “Together Colorado” – to find a licensed gun dealer willing to hold an event to buy back guns to be turned over to the sheriff’s office for destruction.
Authorities had said members of the organization would be required to pass a background check for each gun purchase.
The incident is just the latest wave to hit the state from the Democrats’ work this year.
WND previously reported that a spokesman who works with several programs that appear on the Outdoor Channel told a state lawmaker his company is pulling all production out of the state, because of the gun rules.
And WND previously reported management of the Boulder-based Magpul Industries warned Democrats the company would be closing its plant and moving out of the state if the laws, including the ban on all magazines capable of either holding or being modified to hold more than 15 rounds, were passed.
The company is in the process of following through on its promise to relocate and take several hundred jobs out of the state.
After Magpul’s announcement, Fort Collins-based HiViz Shooting systems announced it, too, would be moving to another state that respects the Second Amendment.
In announcing the move, HIvIZ president and CEO Philip Howe said the decision came down to maintaining a clear conscience regarding where it sends its tax revenue.
Media outlets have reported threats by sportsmen, including anglers and hunters, from other states who have said they intend to boycott Colorado.
Hunting and fishing brings in an estimated $1.8 billion a year for Colorado, with $186 million coming from out-of-state residents. Consequently, if even a relatively small percentage of sportsmen chose to follow through on the boycott, it could result in serious revenue losses for the state.
Others have expressed fear about becoming a lawbreaker if someone loans them a gun for more than 72 hours. Additionally, the laws make it a crime to “transfer” a magazine that is capable of being modified or able to hold more than 15 rounds. The simple act of passing a magazine to another person constitutes an illegal transfer under the law.
The International Defensive Pistol Association canceled a shooting event in Colorado.
“With these new Colorado laws going into effect July 1, and based on the ambiguous way in which they were written, we have decided to cancel the Rocky Mountain Western States Regional IDPA Championship,” event organizer Walt Proulx said. “Due to the growing number of hunters and shooters choosing to boycott Colorado, and the risk that these laws as written will turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, we were left with no other choice but to cancel what was planned to be one of IDPA’s major regional championships, and one strongly supported by Montrose-area businesses.”
Chris Jurney, vice president of the Colorado Outfitters Association, told the Colorado Springs Gazette the group already is seeing cancellations because of the gun laws, which could be devastating for the state and business owners.
During debate over the gun control measures, the vast majority of citizens testifying before the legislature were opposed to any new gun control laws. However, frequently their testimony was dismissed and treated with disdain by Democratic lawmakers who seemed to have already made up their minds about passing the laws.
State Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, scolded a witness opposing one of the gun restrictions.
Amanda Collins, 27, of Reno, Nev., was telling her story of being assaulted and explained that had she been carrying a concealed weapon, the incident might have ended differently.
“I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun,” Hudak scolded. “And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”
Hudak continued, speaking over the committee witness, “The Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence says that every one woman who used a handgun in self-defense, 83 here are killed by them.”
Finally able to resume her testimony, Collins said, “Senator, you weren’t there. I know without a doubt [the outcome would have been different with a gun].
“He already had a weapon,” she told the meeting of the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. “He didn’t need mine.”
A similar attitude was displayed by state Rep. Joe Salazar.
He said that a woman who feels threatened by rape on a college campus doesn't need to be armed because she can use a call box to get help.
Salazar's statement came in a debate over a proposal to ban citizens possessing a concealed-carry permit from being armed on university campuses.
"It's why we have call boxes," said Salazar, "It's why we have safe zones, it's why we have the whistles. Because you just don't know who you're gonna be shooting at.
"And you don’t know if you feel like you're gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around, or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop a round at somebody."
Perhaps the most surprising statement came from U.S. Rep. Diane DeGette, a Denver Democrat in Congress who displayed her perspective on gun magazines.
"I will tell you these are ammunition, they're bullets, so the people who have those now they're going to shoot them; so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot, and there won't be any more available," she said.
The Denver Post said DeGette didn't appear to understand that a firearm magazine can be reloaded with more bullets.
Additionally, the gun control issue in Colorado has been featured on major media outlets after a majority of the state's sheriffs have said that not only will they not enforce the new laws, but that they are actually suing the state over them.
"We have said these laws are unconstitutional and if we truly believe what we are saying then we need to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak," Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said. "These laws are an infringement on people's Second Amendment rights and we need to represent and stand up for the citizens who voted us into office."
State officials admitted they were doing the bidding of the White House. In February, Vice President Joe Biden flew to the state to strong-arm Democratic lawmakers who were feeling pressure from their constituents to vote against the bills.
"He (Biden) said it would send a strong message to the rest of the country that a Western state had passed gun-control bills," Tony Exhum, a Democratic lawmaker from Colorado Springs, told the Denver Post.
House Majority Leader Mark Ferrandino, an open homosexual who also pursued a "civil unions" agenda this year, admitted the gun-control bills introduced by fellow Democrats had national implications.
"I was shocked that he called. He said he thought the bills could help them on a national level," Ferrandino said.