COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., September 4, 2013 — Sheriffs from El Paso, Douglas, Teller, Weld, Cheyenne, and Gilpin Counties held a Colorado Springs rally to show their support for citizen efforts to recall two state senators who, speakers said, had violated the people’s trust and the Colorado Constitution.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa began by saying that Senate President John Morse wouldn’t listen to the Colorado sheriffs during March 4th hearings, so now on September 4th, exactly six months later, they “are going to hear from us now.”
Calling New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group “Illegal Mayors Against Guns,” Sheriff Maketa said that the bills passed by the legislature in March and signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper were simply slightly re-worded New York laws. They were so badly written that it required the state Attorney General to issue clarifications to law enforcement.
Furthermore, he said, the laws don’t help fight crime. Instead, they target law-abiding citizens as they attack the right of citizens to defend themselves and what they own. This violates both the Second and Fourth Amendments.
Just the day before, teenagers in Denver broke into a pawn shop and stole two rifles and 15 handguns. Morse’s laws didn’t stop the crime nor did the background checks passed in March force the criminals to conduct investigations before reselling the stolen goods.
However, the new laws will demand that a hunter not lend his rifle to a friend of thirty years without a criminal background check. It will not allow a soldier leaving for overseas duty to give his girlfriend his handgun for self-defense in his absence without that same criminal background check.
Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County said that Morse wants to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals. He pointed to a survey of law enforcement officers that concluded they believe that an armed citizenry helps to prevent crime.
He illustrated the foolishness of the magazine ban law by holding up two identical 30-round magazines. One, he said, was bought legally before the law took effect. The other may have come across state lines after 1 July. He challenges the crowd to tell which was which.
Law enforcement officers can’t tell either, he concluded.
The question at hand, he said, was who people trusted to keep them safe: their elected sheriffs or Mayor Bloomberg?
Sheriff Weaver of Douglas County said that this recall election is about our freedom, rights and liberty. He held up a copy of the Constitution that he says he carries all the time.
Organizers of the recalls Victor Head from Pueblo and Rob Harris from El Paso County also spoke. Head said that the tipping point for him was when he realized that the shotgun he owns could no longer legally be used by his girlfriend to defend her because the law defines it as “high capacity.”
Harris described talking to his mother about his frustrations in communicating with a senator who was on record saying he would not listen to his constituents. Never before politically active, she encouraged him to take action.
In closing the rally, Sheriff Maketa pointed out that it was not himself, nor activist Laura Carno, nor Bernie Herpin, nor the NRA that picked this fight. It was a true grassroots effort.
As Victor Head said, he did not choose the fight. “This fight chose me, like it or not.”
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