Colorado Dems tweet that sheriffs backing gun-control lawsuit side with ‘criminals’

Greg Campbell | Contributor

Colorado state Senate Democrats claimed on Twitter that most of the state’s elected sheriffs are siding with criminals rather than law abiding citizens by joining in a lawsuit to overturn two contentious gun control bills.

The lawsuit, first announced on May 17, has now been joined by 55 of the state’s 62 sheriffs and has been supported by others in law enforcement.

It seeks to overturn a ban on high capacity magazines and a requirement that background checks be performed for all gun transfers.

The Colorado senate Democrats later tweeted, “2day CO sheriffs stood in opposition of CO’s new gun laws, but not w/law-abiding citizens, but with criminals. #coleg #Sheriffs4Criminals.”

 

Senate President John Morse, a former police officer currently locked in a battle with opponents in his Colorado Springs district who are collecting signatures to force a recall election, leads the Senate Democrats, but it’s not clear who wrote the tweet.

“I believe that is such a hollow statement that it deserves no real response,” Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It shows a complete lack of real discussion [in that] if they can’t make their case for why they did what they did, attack us personally. The citizens deserve a lot more robust debate than name calling.

“But the reality is, that’s fairly consistent,” he continued. “Even when they pitched these bills, they couldn’t back them up with logic and reason, so it doesn’t surprise me.”

As pointed out during a press conference announcing the lawsuit, the sheriffs who have joined with nearly two-dozen other plaintiffs are both Republican and Democrat.

The combative tweet is typical of the style Morse has adopted in responding to critics calling for his ouster. He has said he will fight to the “bitter end” to retain his seat, despite some rumors that Democrats are formulating a plan to encourage him to resign before a recall election is scheduled.

That way, a vacancy committee can fill his seat. His possible replacement is former Democratic state Rep. Michael Merrifield, the former state director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Morse is term-limited and Merrifield has already announced his intentions to run for the open seat next year. But Morse and others have denied such a plan, despite its continued circulation on conservative political blogs.

This isn’t the first time organizations close to Morse have invoked “criminals” working to overturn the new gun laws and kick him out of office.

A website called Colorado Recall Watch, which supports Morse, warns voters that criminals hired by a signature-gathering company would be coming door to door to sign a recall petition.

“They have even been caught employing criminals to go from neighborhood to neighborhood to collect their data,” the website warns, “criminals convicted of forgery, fraud and even sexual assault. If a suspicious petition gatherer comes to your door or place of business, do NOT give them your personal information.”

The opposition groups need to gather just over 7,000 signatures from registered voters by June 3.

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