COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 12, 2013 — The issue committee Citizens for a Safer Colorado today filed an initiative to amend the Colorado constitution to repeal the gun control laws passed by the legislature in March, and to prevent the legislature from ever passing such laws again. The initiative, if approved, would in future refer such measures to a vote of the people.
Colorado’s constitution, like the U.S. Constitution, already contains a strong statement of right:
“The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.” (Art II, Sec 13)
Because the Colorado constitution already protects the right to bear arms, many feel that the legislature’s actions, influenced by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and orchestrated by Senate President John Morse, are unconstitutional. A majority of the state sheriffs and a number of other organizations have joined together with the Independence Institute to sue the state in federal court to repeal the most egregious infringements.
The new initiative seeks to repeal them all.
Committee chairman Mike Holler says, “The Colorado legislature overstepped its bounds to do the bidding of the Obama administration and the big city mayors from the east coast to impose laws that are actually dangerous and do nothing to reduce crime. They lost the common-sense perspective that Coloradoans have always had. We are reminding them that in Colorado, the final authorities are the citizens.”
The provisional title of the proposed amendment is to “Clarify, Protect, and Strengthen the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms in Self Defense.”
The goal of the amendment is to make even clearer what the right to keep and bear arms means by spelling out that individuals may “buy, sell, transfer, own, loan, possess, transport, carry, and operate firearms as well as all standard, necessary, customary, or usual equipment and accessories including magazines and ammunition.”
Gun control advocates, knowing they cannot confiscate guns directly, instead seek to limit who can buy firearms, the size of magazines, and how they can be transferred. They are endlessly creative in trying to get around the letter of the law.
The amendment seeks to put an end to that scheming, not only by spelling out the rights in more detail, but also by preventing the legislature from writing new laws infringing citizens’ rights. If the right to keep and bear arms is to be limited, it must be done by a vote of the people.
Before January, Colorado already had common sense limits on the right to bear arms. Background checks against both Colorado and federal databases were in place, and there was no so-called gun show exemption. Felons could not own guns. Concealed carry required a permit. None of that changes should the proposed amendment become law.
What will change is that the legislature will no longer unilaterally be able to restrict people’s right to self-defense.
Every initiative in Colorado goes through a process of review and approval before the wording is final. This can take several months. The sponsors then have six months to collect 86,105 valid signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. If enough signatures are gathered, this amendment will be on the November 2014 ballot.
This is not the only proposed constitutional amendment in progress. In March, at almost the same time as the magazine ban bill was passed, an amendment was filed by two Littleton, Colorado, men to amend the constitution to allow any size magazines. The proposal simply states that “No law, except a law enacted by a vote of the people, shall restrict or limit the right of the people to purchase or possess ammunition storage and feeding devices of any capacity.”
The attempt by the Democrat-controlled legislature to enact gun control in Colorado has been met with fierce resistance from the people. There were massive protests as the bills were forced through the legislative process. Two senators are in the process of being recalled, and recalls were attempted against another senator and a representative. Rumor has it that another attempt to recall Sen. Evie Hudak will be made in the fall. There is a lawsuit in federal district court. County sheriffs have said that the magazine ban is unenforceable and that they will not enforce it. County commissions have passed resolutions in support of their sheriffs and the right to bear arms.
And now added to the mix is an amendment to take back the grant of power to the legislature to write laws in this area.
It is clear that the Colorado legislature cannot be trusted to do the will of the people.
At The Voice of Liberty, we seek to advance the principles of liberty, because tyranny never sleeps.
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