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Bullets Photo by George Frey/Getty Images Bullets Photo by George Frey/Getty Images  

Colorado sheriffs sue the state over new gun control laws

Greg Campbell
Contributor

Maketa said he has better things to do than check up on people like his neighbor.

“It’s not a matter of whether I choose to enforce it or not. It’s unenforceable,” he said.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said the sentiments held by the sheriffs are shared by other law enforcement officers like police and state troopers, who, by virtue of the fact that they are employees rather than elected officials, can’t speak up about their opposition to the laws.

The suit, filed in federal court, claims the new laws violate the Second and Fourteenth amendments as well as the Americans With Disabilities Act, since it criminalizes people who help disabled shooters with their weapons if they’re fitted with magazines.

David Kopel, the plaintiffs’ attorney and the Second Amendment project director of the libertarian Independence Institute, where the press conference was held, said he is considering filing a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the laws from going into effect.

Joining the sheriffs in the suit are disabled shooters, a group called Women for Concealed Carry and the Colorado Farm Bureau, which is representing farmers and rural interests.

Cooke said that the eight sheriffs who didn’t join the suit may be aligned ideologically with those who have, but didn’t sign on for “political reasons,” meaning they represent heavily Democratic jurisdictions like Boulder and Denver, two counties whose sheriffs are absent from the plaintiffs list.

After the press conference, Cooke said many sheriffs tried to explain what they saw as problems with the bills to their sponsors while they were being debated at the legislature, but that Democratic lawmakers “played politics” that prevented many of them from testifying.

For example, he said committee members limited testimony on the bills to only one sheriff when several were present to oppose them.

But he said it probably wouldn’t have mattered if everyone had been allowed to speak.

“I believe Jesus Christ himself could have come down, testified against those bills and they would have passed,” he said. “Their minds were made up.”

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