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Greeley Sheriff refuses to enforce new Colorado gun laws

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 7,958 Senior Member
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/weld-county-sheriff-john-cooke-refuses-to-enforce-impending-gun-control-laws

Gretta Van Susteren will be interviewing this sheriff tonight. Should be interesting.

FYI, Greeley is just east of Ft. Collins, near the Colorado/Wyoming border.

I've also heard, but haven't verified, that the sheriff of Fremont Co. has said he will not enforce this law. I live in Fremont county. Canon City is the county seat if you wish to look it up.

I'm hoping that a number of law enforcement agencies across the state will follow suit.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

Replies

  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 838 Senior Member
    Pardon my ignorance, but what happens if he refuses to enforce state law?, aren't Sheriffs elected to enforce the law? While it's a powerful political office doesn't playing pick and mix with the law go beyond their bailiwick?

    I applaud his stand, but how exactly is he able to do it and what are the consequences and repercussions of his stand. I'm really intrigued by electing lawman, seems like a good system.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,958 Senior Member
    waipapa13 wrote: »
    Pardon my ignorance, but what happens if he refuses to enforce state law?, aren't Sheriffs elected to enforce the law? While it's a powerful political office doesn't playing pick and mix with the law go beyond their bailiwick?

    I applaud his stand, but how exactly is he able to do it and what are the consequences and repercussions of his stand. I'm really intrigued by electing lawman, seems like a good system.

    Good question, and I don't know the answer.

    I believe that first and foremost it's the responsibility of any U.S. LEO to uphold the constitution. So, I suppose he can use that as a reason.

    To some extent, many LEOs have elected not to enforce the law at times. For example, one may pull you over for speeding, tell you to slow it down, and send you on your way. I suspect that most, if not all, exercise some level of discretion from time to time.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • ken55ken55 Senior Member Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Jerry, Sheriff Maketa here in El Paso County has taken the same stand, and very publicly. I called his office to express my support.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,958 Senior Member
    ken55 wrote: »
    Jerry, Sheriff Maketa here in El Paso County has taken the same stand, and very publicly. I called his office to express my support.

    That's huge, considering that Colorado Springs, the county seat of El Paso county, is the second largest metropolitan area in the state.

    I called the local sheriff's office earlier today, but wasn't able to ask anyone. I left a message, and am waiting for a callback. If I get one, I'll post it.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 838 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Absolutely, and I understand the exercising of discretion, but conversely, and let me play devils advocate here these sheriffs, though elected are defying state law passed by democratically elected representatives of the state legislature, isn't this what liberal sheriffs do in CA and NY to deny ccw permits to people who are legally clear to do so.

    I like the stand being made, but I am also hesitant to endorse the method as if the sheriff was using simalar tactics to deny ccw's, cans etc. we'd all be up in arms about it. Conflicted to say the least I guess.

    OTOH as you say it is every LEO's duty to uphold the constitution to the best of his abilities, count yourselves lucky, that is possibly the greatest piece of legislation ever written, I'm jealous.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,400 Senior Member
    I'm not a lawyer, and didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express. But I looked up the Colorado Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article II. Section 11 seems to negate the laws the legislature just passed.

    Article II Section 11
    Section 11. Ex post facto laws. No ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, or retrospective in its operation, or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges, franchises or immunities, shall be passed by the general assembly.


    Just looking at it, passing laws against lawfully held property, i.e. firearms, that were legal before the law was passed would be an ex post facto law, and thus null and void. But I'm not a lawyer.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Jim TomJim Tom Member Posts: 338 Member
    Originally Posted by waipapa13

    Pardon my ignorance, but what happens if he refuses to enforce state law?, aren't Sheriffs elected to enforce the law? While it's a powerful political office doesn't playing pick and mix with the law go beyond their bailiwick?

    It's the difference between a constitutional republic and a democracy. Officials: elected, appointed, whatever, pledge their allegience to a constitution, whether state or federal, not to a legislature or an executive. Otherwise, a duly elected legislature could order all blacks jailed, all catholic churches burned, whatever. Constitutions generally recognize rights that are not easily changed by populist politicians.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    waipapa13 wrote: »
    JerryBobCo

    Absolutely, and I understand the exercising of discretion, but conversely, and let me play devils advocate here these sheriffs, though elected are defying state law passed by democratically elected representatives of the state legislature, isn't this what liberal sheriffs do in CA and NY to deny ccw permits to people who are legally clear to do so.

    I like the stand being made, but I am also hesitant to endorse the method as if the sheriff was using simalar tactics to deny ccw's, cans etc. we'd all be up in arms about it. Conflicted to say the least I guess.

    OTOH as you say it is every LEO's duty to uphold the constitution to the best of his abilities, count yourselves lucky, that is possibly the greatest piece of legislation ever written, I'm jealous.

    If a local politician knows his constituency, and is representing them the way they want to be represented, he can probably get away with it. Mayors of San Francisco have openly defied federal law numerous times and gotten away with it, because no sitting official wants to go into someone's hometown and look like 'jack-booted thugs' in front of a hostile public, with full media coverage. Many states, since the federal gun control act of 1968 have openly and officially stated that they are not obligated to enforce it, and the feds cannot possibly enforce all the laws, without them. Of course, this is a state law, but I'm betting the same principles will apply. In this case, there is widespread support and the gun-grabbers don't really want anything that will encourage an honest debate on what the Constitution says.

    Besides, laws don't mean anything in America, if the people don't consent to them.
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 838 Senior Member
    Originally Posted by Jim Tom

    It's the difference between a constitutional republic and a democracy. Officials: elected, appointed, whatever, pledge their allegience to a constitution, whether state or federal, not to a legislature or an executive. Otherwise, a duly elected legislature could order all blacks jailed, all catholic churches burned, whatever. Constitutions generally recognize rights that are not easily changed by populist politicians

    Yeah, I guess it all comes back to the constitution, thanks for pointing that out, clearly the sheriffs oath supercedes the states imposition of arbitrary laws, which Tennmike pointed out, where to from there?, Is the CO anti-gun bill dead or is it easy to alter a states constitution?
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Canada tried gun bans and mandatory registration for a while. The laws were almost universally ignored except for in a few liberal-controlled big cities in the east. The whole mess turned into a huge, expensive clusterflop which had virtually no effect other than creating a whole new class or felons. Fortunately, the "felons" don't give a damn what the "law" says. The same thing would happen here, only on a much larger scale.
    Jerry
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,958 Senior Member
    waipapa13 wrote: »
    Yeah, I guess it all comes back to the constitution, thanks for pointing that out, clearly the sheriffs oath supercedes the states imposition of arbitrary laws, which Tennmike pointed out, where to from there?, Is the CO anti-gun bill dead or is it easy to alter a states constitution?

    It would probably be easier to elect a gun-friendly legislature and governor than overturn that particular constitutional amendment. Note that is does not specifically address the right to bear arms, but any law that prohibits something that was previously obtained legally.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    [QUOTE=waipapa13;219873

    I applaud his stand, but how exactly is he able to do it and what are the consequences and repercussions of his stand. I'm really intrigued by electing lawman, seems like a good system.[/QUOTE]

    In the U.S. a Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the County in which he serves, hell he can arrest Federal Officers if he doesn't like the way they are playing.
    In the end, he swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that is not enforcing un-constitutional or un-enforceable law....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 838 Senior Member
    Originally posted by Jayhawker
    In the U.S. a Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the County in which he serves, hell he can arrest Federal Officers if he doesn't like the way they are playing.
    In the end, he swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that is not enforcing un-constitutional or un-enforceable law....

    Thanks for clearing that up, it's totally different to the system we have here with a national police force under a commissioner, and it seems a far more free system of LE, with the sheriff being able to speak out and stand up for his community. The district commander for my province recently resigned in protest at a lack of officers, funding and support, considering Northland grows the majority of the country's marijuana, cooks the lions share of methamphetamine and is borderline clannish they weren't unreasonable requests.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    In some states such as Alabama, judges are also elected. Of course, they have to have the proper legal credentials, but they don't have the luxury of getting appointed by the legislature or other governing body, and holding their office virtually for life. An Alabama judge who upsets his local community with his rulings can pretty much count on being unemployed after the next election. Too bad we can't do the same thing with federal judges!
    Jerry
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,958 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    In some states such as Alabama, judges are also elected. Of course, they have to have the proper legal credentials, but they don't have the luxury of getting appointed by the legislature or other governing body, and holding their office virtually for life. An Alabama judge who upsets his local community with his rulings can pretty much count on being unemployed after the next election. Too bad we can't do the same thing with federal judges!
    Jerry


    In Colorado, we vote whether or not to keep a sitting judge. I always vote to NOT keep them. I hate to admit it, but I'm not sure how we put them there to start with.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,098 Senior Member
    Good on him/them :worthy:

    Tomorrow should be an interesting day with gun owners nationwide watching Colorado
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Vic's ViewpointVic's Viewpoint Senior Member Posts: 1,188 Senior Member
    waipapa13 wrote: »
    Pardon my ignorance, but what happens if he refuses to enforce state law?, aren't Sheriffs elected to enforce the law?

    As you know, Colorado is a western state with all that that implies regarding pro-gun sympathies. No elected sheriff in Colorado has a prayer of getting re-elected if he tries to enforce blatantly senseless anti-gun legislation. Since this new series of laws will find themselves before the CO and the US Supreme Courts sooner rather than later, and since they appear to be joltingly unconstitutional on their face and therefore unenforceable anyway, why should he hang himself out to dry politically by acting like an oblivious clot and vigorously enforcing hugely unpopular (at least locally) anti-gun legislation? And he did indeed swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States during his swearing-in ceremony.
    Member formerly known as "vlafrank."
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 6,478 Senior Member
    Yup, tennmike your correct. They cannot get what is already out there, they are only going after the new ones, rifle mags ect. The 94 ban you could still get almost all of the evil products but they were jut pricier. It is really just political pandering and grandstanding.


    Jut a little fun CO law enforcement trivia: who is the only person that can arrest a county sheriff legally in county government?
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,958 Senior Member
    As you know, Colorado is a western state with all that that implies regarding pro-gun sympathies. No elected sheriff in Colorado has a prayer of getting re-elected if he tries to enforce blatantly senseless anti-gun legislation.

    I wish it were that cut and dry. Unfortunately, it's not. Otherwise, you could make the same argument about legislators who pass these laws.

    There are some very liberal counties in Colorado, such as the ones around Boulder, Denver, some of the high dollar ski areas (think Aspen) and large college communities. If sheriffs in some of these counties opted not to enforce these laws, they would probably lose a reelection bid.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,401 Senior Member
    They could move to Western PA. Right to work state, manufacturing base, as good of gun laws as anywhere, better than most, good infrastructure and crossroads of major highways (ask the drug dealers)
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • KSDeputyKSDeputy Member Posts: 55 Member
    My take on this, the sheriff knows the law is unconstitutional. He is honest enough to respect the oath he took, unlike the Washington crowd. God Bless you sheriff !!
  • sgtrock21sgtrock21 Senior Member Posts: 1,933 Senior Member
    As you know, Colorado is a western state with all that that implies regarding pro-gun sympathies. No elected sheriff in Colorado has a prayer of getting re-elected if he tries to enforce blatantly senseless anti-gun legislation. Since this new series of laws will find themselves before the CO and the US Supreme Courts sooner rather than later, and since they appear to be joltingly unconstitutional on their face and therefore unenforceable anyway, why should he hang himself out to dry politically by acting like an oblivious clot and vigorously enforcing hugely unpopular (at least locally) anti-gun legislation? And he did indeed swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States during his swearing-in ceremony.
    I will try one more time as my rather long reply was dumped by this forum! I live in Oregon which along with Washington (state), Colorado, and even Montana have been Californicated. As always the legislators will even break the laws they have sworn to defend to be re-elected. Affluent Californians have long been invading these states on a full or part time basis. They say they are leaving California to escape the crowding and pollution. I can sympathize with them. Unfortunately for the "natives" the first thing they do is try to turn our states into California! Oregon is an open carry state by our Constitution including visible loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. A few municipalities have prohibited open carry although the state Constitution prohibits counties and municipalities from preempting the state Constitution. The states excuse is that there is no provision in the state Constitution for punishment??? A friend of mine put this municipal "law" to the test. He put his single barrel break open (unloaded) shotgun over his shoulder and went for a walk in his neighborhood. It took about 10 minutes before the police appeared. They only requested that he return home and put the shotgun away as they were receiving multiple calls of an armed individual. That says to me that the municipal ban on open carry is not enforceable but is just a "bullying tactic". In 1964 at 12 years old I could carry my .22 rifle across the handlebars of my bicycle and ride about 2 miles to the river for target shooting. I would stop on the way at a little store to buy a box or 2 of ammo bringing my rifle into the store. No one blinked an eye! I realize things are different now but WHAT THE HE** HAPPENED????
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