Littleton, CO Aims To Eliminate Gun Stores With Impossible New “Safe Storage” Requirements

Littleton, CO Aims To Eliminate Gun Stores With Impossible New "Safe Storage" Requirements

While our country grapples with continued chaos from the election, COVID-19, a disrupted economy, and ongoing political violence, the mayor and city council of Littleton, CO has decided what is most important to them is pushing gun stores out of their city. During their February 2, 2021 city council meeting, a “Firearms Retailer Regulations” ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote.

Here’s the TL,DR version:

Beginning August 1, 2021 this ordinance (3-24-1 through 3-24-11 of Littleton city code) creates a new city license that is specific to firearm retailers only. To obtain this new annual license, business owners will be required to lock all firearms in safes during non-business hours, and create new security and storage plans for during business hours. The retailer must develop a safe storage plan that includes how they plan to achieve this, along with a number of other requirements not related to storage, such as alarm systems, disaster planning, training of employees, current floor plans, and inventory (much of what they already do as responsible businesses). This plan must be submitted to and approved by the Littleton Police Department annually. LPD can reject plans and revoke licenses at their discretion when they believe they find inadequacies in the plan. Retailers with revoked or expired licenses must dispose of their inventory according to ATF standards. Firearms disposition records must be available to law enforcement at all times without a subpoena, and law enforcement and other government officials must have access to all areas of the retail location at all times without a warrant. This ordinance makes operating a firearm retail business without this license an “unlawful act” punishable by fines and jail.

So what does this really do?

It creates such expensive and burdensome requirements on the retailers they will be forced to either increase the price of their inventory to such a degree only the wealthy can afford it and making self defense out of reach for lower income people, such as, I don’t know…many single mothers whose most important responsibility is the protection of her children alone. Or the retailers will be forced to move out of the city opening the door to the black markets that always fill these voids.

An important question would be does it even work? The idea that locking guns in safes prevents planned, professional theft is ridiculous. The city elected officials have now created a blueprint for thieves as to how to steal guns in Littleton, they just know they need to take the whole safe now and break into them, as the 16 year old STEM school shooter did before committing his heinous act.

And why target the gun industry solely if this is about saving lives? Let’s look at a pharmacy. They have objects in their possession that can fatally injure or hurt large amounts of people, such a fentanyl which is stealing the lives of teenagers right here in Colorado as I write this. They are highly regulated. And they are often the victim of crime, probably on similar statistics in comparison to gun store robberies, if not more.  However, because it isn’t controversial, a left vs right issue, it gets a free pass.

Colorado increasingly continues to see gun control passed at the local city level, as we highlighted back in 2018 when Boulder passed a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and in 2019 Longmont passed a “common sense gun safety” resolution that looked like Bloomberg himself wrote it. Please keep your eye on your city council agendas and if you see anything fishy, alert us immediately.

Please reach out to the Littleton mayor and city council contact with your thoughts. Scroll down for their contact info.

Here are the dirty details about the Littleton ordinance: 

Creates a new annual city license all firearm retailers will now be required to apply for (and I’m sure pay for, although a dollar amount is not included in the bill language).

In order to get this license the retailer will need to:

• Develop a plan that addresses the safe storage of firearms during retail hours, after closing, and any off-site storage areas where firearm inventory is maintained.  This must include all of the following:

– Securely storing firearms during retail hours, after closing, and in any off-site storage areas in accordance with their new storage requirements set forth in the new Littleton City Code. During non-business hours all firearms must be stored in a locked safe, locked steel gun cabinet, or secured safe room;
– Alarm systems and theft deterrence systems;
– Business practices addressing access to firearms during retail hours;
– Procedures for removing/replacing firearms to show to customers;
– Loss or theft reporting;
– Description of anti-theft measures and practices;
– Disaster plan;
– Structural Security; e.g. physical hardening of the premises which includes but not but not limited to bollards, break resistance windowing, secured bars across windows, locking metal reinforced doors, and reinforced walls;
– Inventory Security;
– Employee Screening; and,
– Employee training and education about licensee’s policy and procedures and loss prevention measures, if applicable.

• Safe Storage Plans must be submitted to the Littleton Police Department for approval on an annual basis. LPD can reject any submitted plans, documenting inadequacies, and if those inadequacies are not addressed and a new plan submitted for approval within 60 days, or if the same plan is submitted, the license will be revoked.

• Retail location must ensure the following practices are implemented within their plans:

– Store all firearms in inventory in a safe, vault, or safe room and in such a manner as to prevent theft or loss.
– Keep all safes, vaults, displays, other equipment, or areas used for the storage of firearms in inventory securely locked or protected from entry, except for the actual time required to remove, replace or show for sale or transfer the firearm(s) in inventory. Trigger locks or similar devices cannot be removed until sale or transfer is completed.
– Keep all locks and security equipment in good working order;
– Prohibit keys from being left in locks and do not store or place keys in a location accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel;
– Prohibit other security measures, such as combination numbers, keys, codes, passwords or electronic or biometric security systems, from being accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel;
– Keep the retail location securely locked and protected from unauthorized entry at all times when closed for business or unoccupied by authorized personnel;
– Ensure inventory records are protected by securing the records after business hours in a location separate from the firearms inventory and only permit authorized personnel or law enforcement to view or handle the inventory records;
– Complete a firearms inventory on a regular basis, no less than once annually. Inventories must be conducted by at least two persons, unless owner operated.
– Keep timely and accurate “acquisition and disposition” records. These records must be made available to law enforcement entities upon request;
– Maintain a disaster plan that adequately ensures the timely securing of firearms in inventory in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The plan must be made available to law enforcement upon request; and,
– Ensure employees with access to firearms in inventory or who otherwise handle firearms in inventory are not prohibited from possessing firearms under State or Federal law.

• If a retail location presents special security issues, such as exposed handling or unusual vulnerability to diversion, theft or loss, LPD may require additional safeguards.

• If a loss, theft or diversion of firearms in inventory has occurred from a retail location, the certified licensee must notify the ATF and law enforcement within 24 hours after the loss or theft is discovered. If any firearms previously reported as lost or stolen are subsequently recovered by the licensee, the licensee must notify the ATF and law enforcement of the recovery.

• Any licensee whose certification is revoked or not renewed must dispose of its entire inventory under conditions approved by the ATF and provide notice to LPD of plan to transfer or otherwise dispose of inventory.

• Retail locations operating in a space that is 5,000 square feet or greater, or maintaining more than 100 firearms in inventory, must provide current copies of floor plans to LPD upon request.

• Retailers must not prohibit members of LPD or other federal, state or local government officials from entering any area of a location if necessary to perform their governmental duties.

Littleton Police Department has put together a long and complicated document to “help” firearm retailers get their plan in place.  You can read that here.

If you’d like to express your thoughts and concerns about this heavy handed move by the Littleton mayor and city council while they know people are distracted by many other things, please contact them:

Mayor Jerry Valdes: 303-810-1465  [email protected]
Councilmember Patrick Driscoll: 303-668-7877  [email protected]
Councilmember Karina Elrod: 303-362-3364  [email protected]
Councilmember Carol Fey: 303-795-9350  [email protected]
Councilmember Pam Grove: 303-263-1152  [email protected]
Councilmember Scott Melin: 720-295-5382  [email protected]
Councilmember Kelly Milliman: 720-468-1324  [email protected]

Don’t have time to contact them individually? Here’s a quick copy/paste you can throw into your email client and message them all at once: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

 

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HR127: It’s Your Money or Your Guns

HR127: It’s Your Money or Your Guns

HR 127 has been called “The Gun Apocalypse” and for good reason. Introduced by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson D-TX, this bill is formally known as the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act. What HR127 ultimately does is wipe out the Second Amendment by making gun ownership unaffordable for all but the most affluent. Which is clearly the intent.

It’s ironic that the Democrats who preach criminal justice reform aren’t hesitating, with the stroke of a pen, to turn millions of law-abiding Americans into felons, punishing them with onerous fines and years of incarceration. Despite this, nothing in HR127 will disarm one violent criminal or reduce the gun homicide rampaging through our cities.

There is much about this bill that makes it unworkable and impractical but for the moment, I’ll focus the discussion on what it will cost your wallet.

Pony up, Mr. Gun Owner

This bill requires that every applicant for a gun license must first pay $800 to the US Attorney General for liability insurance. Never mind that as a gun owner, if you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you already have gun accident insurance under the plan’s liability umbrella coverage. This requirement begs many questions such as, what experience does the AG have in managing insurance? How will claims be processed? Does this insurance protect a gun owner against law suits? Does this insurance cover legal expenses? There remain more questions and I’ll turn back to those later.

You’ll also be required to take 24 hours of training to include live firing training. Maybe you can find such training at $50 per hour so you’re talking $1200, minimum.

You want a gun? You must be crazy!

HR127 requires that every gun owner and member of the household undergo an evaluation by a licensed psychologist. Plus, this psychologist must interview any former spouses as well as at least two other family members or associates. Since the standards for these required evaluations are as yet not available, it’s difficult to determine how much they will cost but a reasonable estimate is $1000 each. Assuming three in your household, that’s at least $3000. Add another $1000 for the interviews—another estimate—and we’re talking $4000.

Also consider that HR127 mentions that these licensed psychologists must be approved by the AG. An Internet search shows about 100K licensed psychologists in the country and not every of them will be approved. Consider the evaluations required of gun owners and members of their households plus interviews with the ex’s and associates, that means less than 100K psychologists will be conducting hundreds of millions of evaluations and interviews. By what deadline? Those psychologists already have full schedules so we’re expecting them to take on such an avalanche of new clients on top of that? This situation will create a seller’s market of insane proportions. With that in mind, who knows what you’ll pay for a shrink’s time.

Speaking of pay…who will pay for these evaluations and interviews?

Not the AG, but you.

The psychological evaluation is offered with the premise it will be an accurate predictor of who should or shouldn’t have a gun. But in truth, those giving such evals, highly trained psychologists and psychiatrists, have a miserable record at protecting public safety. The shooters at Thousand Oaks, the Aurora Theater, and the Parkland high school had all been extensively evaluated for exhibiting dangerous behavior prior to the shootings, and yet nothing was done to prevent the ensuing massacres. And sadly, the increasing rate of suicides in this country shows that mental health professionals don’t have a firm grasp at preventing fatal self-harm.

If there is a hint that the AG’s licensed psychologists may bear any liability for a misdiagnosis, then expect the Catch 22 of HR127 to kick in:

We must keep the mentally disturbed from getting a gun

….and only the mentally disturbed would want a gun.

HR127: By the Number$$

How much will HR127 cost you, the law-abiding gun owner, to keep your property? Factor in fees (also unspecified) for the registration of each gun (don’t forget ammo), the permit application, and the permit itself so a lowball estimate for the first gun is:

Insurance: $800
Training: $1200
Psyche eval: $4000
Fees: ???

Total: $6000+

The AG’s Money Grab

Let’s return to the insurance. Assuming 75 million gun owners in this country, let’s say 25 million won’t pay this extortion and thus give up their guns. That means 50 million will jump through the financial hoops. The simple math of 50 million gun owners times $800 each means $40 billion of your money will slosh into the coffers of the AG. That’s a lot of cash. Substantially more than the entire 2020 budget for the US Department of Justice ($29.9B). What happens to all that money? Does it remain in an insurance portfolio…managed by whom? Or does that money get lost in a slush fund?

Currently, every state in the union is experiencing an alarming surge in gun homicide, mostly because of gang and drug-related shootings aggravated by the pandemic lockdowns. Is anyone naive enough to think that any criminal will subject themselves to the provisions of this bill considering they’re not supposed to have guns to begin with? Tragically, HR127 will do nothing to protect anyone from violent crime or make our streets any safer.

Contact your congressperson today and let them know you oppose this bill!  Click here to find their contact information.

 

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Colorado Gun Owners: Brace For Gun Control Fight In 2021

Colorado Gun Owners: Brace For Gun Control Fight In 2021

After a 2020 that felt more like the Twilight Zone than reality, there’s one good thing that happened: 2020 gun control legislation was DOA both in-state and federally.  But that’s all about to change.

Last year Colorado Democrats had only introduced two gun control bills when the legislature took an emergency recess due to COVID-19. When they returned months later to finish up what they considered “necessary business”, many legislative ambitions were no longer considered “necessary”.  This included a bill mandating locking up firearms and another bill making the reporting of lost and stolen guns mandatory. Although Democrats held the majority in both the State House and Senate, the margin in the senate was slim and they knew the passage wasn’t a slam dunk. After the November 3rd election, Democrats in the state picked up one additional state senate seat and the majority in the state house remained unchanged.

At the federal level in 2020, Republicans held a slight majority in the Senate while Democrats held a large majority in the House of Representatives.  Multiple pieces of gun control legislation passed out of the house only to never see the light of day in the senate, ultimately never making it to then President Donald Trump’s desk.  The November 3rd elections, and most notably the recent January 5th senate run-off in Georgia, changed the entire make up of congress, and the recent inauguration of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president sealed the deal. The senate now sits with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, making the tie breaker the new VP, Kamala Harris. In the house Republicans did pick up a number of seats but not enough to make up the large margin. Currently the party make-up in that chamber is 211 Republicans to 221 Democrats with three vacancies yet to be filled.

So what should we expect?

Colorado:

Colorado’s legislative session was set to begin on January 13, 2021 and run for exactly 120 days.  Due to COVID-19, Democrat leadership altered this timeline. On January 13th, legislators were sworn in and routine business was done; for two more days a few bills were passed that related directly to COVID-19 and then they recessed until February 16, 2021. At that time they intend to run for the remainder of the 120 days or possibly less. We are already aware of three pieces of gun control legislation to be introduced as soon as they reconvene:

• Mandatory waiting period between firearm purchase and possession – possibly 5 days. (Rep. Tom Sullivan and Rep. Steven Woodward)
• Mandatory “safe storage” of firearms. (Rep. Kevin Mullica)
• Mandatory reporting to law enforcement of lost and stolen guns. (Rep. Tom Sullivan and Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis)

It’s not unlikely we’ll see more gun control out of Colorado gun grabbers this session – the question remains what and when.

I’ve written about the last two proposals and you can read that here. I’ll be breaking down the mandatory waiting period in the coming days so keep your eye out for that.

A list of contact information of all of Colorado’s legislators can be found here.

Federal:

The 117th U.S. Congress gaveled into session earlier this month, and at least six gun control measures have been filed already with the House Judiciary Committee. Unlike the past couple years, these bills could land on the new president’s desk for signature if strategic pushback from gun owners doesn’t stop them.

Summaries of these bills are not yet available to the public at the time of this writing.

H.R.30 – To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms trafficking. (Rep. Bobby Rush, D-IL)

H.R.121 – To provide for the hiring of 200 additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and investigators to enforce gun laws. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.125 – To amend Title 18, United States Code, to provide for a 7-day waiting period before a semiautomatic firearm, a silencer, armor piercing ammunition, or a large capacity ammunition magazine may be transferred. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.127 – To provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.130 – To require the safe storage of firearms and ammunition, and to require the investigation of reports of improper storage of firearms or ammunition. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.167 – To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer. (Rep. Al Green D-TX-9)

Stay tuned for more information as the full text of these bills becomes available and as more bills are filed.

A list of Colorado’s federally elected representatives and senators can be found here.

And in the mean time, buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. 

 

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Anti-Gun Groups Giffords And Brady Among Recipients Of Corononavirus Relief

Recently released records from the Small Business Association show two of the country’s most active gun control groups received Coronavirus relief during the pandemic shut down in the form of Paycheck Protection Loans.  The Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence and The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence both received the loans they likely will not need to reimburse.  And if taxpayers funding anti-gun organizations in any fashion isn’t bad enough, the Brady PAC has pledged to spend $4 million dollars helping elect Joe Biden – up to $1 million of it could be our money through this loan.

According to the Free Beacon:

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence received between $350,000 and $1 million on April 10 to support 41 employees, according to the Small Business Administration. The center is the educational arm of the Brady organization, which also features a political advocacy arm, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as well as the political action committee Brady PAC. In March, the Brady PAC endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and announced it would spend $4 million to help elect him and other gun-control candidates to office.

Also on the list of recipients is Gabby Giffords political arm, The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  They received between $150,000 and $350,000.

An advanced search for gun rights organizations turns up none that received the loans, although not all names of those who received loans of less than $150,000 have been released. 

Earlier this year, at the height of the Coronavirus meltdown, congress passed and the president signed the CARES Act which included billions in forgivable Payment Protection Loans meant to help keep small businesses afloat. These loans were meant to keep basic operations functioning and employees on payroll while the United States went into lockdown.  They do not need to be repaid if the business can prove the funds were spent on the business and operations.  That means it is unlikely either Giffords or Brady will be required to repay their loans. 

Red Flag ERPO Critic and CO Sheriff Gets ERPO’d AGAIN By Jail Inmate

Red Flag ERPO Critic and CO Sheriff Gets ERPO'd AGAIN By Jail Inmate

On Februrary 25,2020 one of Colorado’s most outspoken critics of Colorado’s Red Flag ERPO law, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, was red flagged using the state’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law – and it was an inmate who has been incarcerated in his jail since 2016 on serious drug trafficking charges who filed it – from jail.

That story was nuts.

And now it’s happened again, less than two months later.  Same inmate, new ERPO – from jail! 

According to a post on Reams’ Facebook page, on April 15, 2020 an Extreme Risk Protection Order petition was filed by inmate Leo Crespin against Sheriff Steve Reams, which is public record.  The inmate claims he falls under the law’s extremely broad definition of ‘household or family member’ by marking the box “I regularly reside or have resided with the respondent in the last 6 months”, citing that he lives in Reams’ jail.

In the body of the petition the inmate states that Sheriff Reams arms his S.O.G. officers with 12 gauge shotguns.  The Weld County jail S.O.G. (Special Operations Group) is responsible for maintaining order in situations involving enhanced security risk.  The “shotguns” they carry are actually devices that fire less-than-lethal projectiles and are only carried by the specialized team of officers.

The petition was immediately dismissed by district court Judge Vicente Vigil.

You can read the petition and the ruling in the images below, but it is along the same lines as the February ERPO that was filed.  Read all about that here.

 

 

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CO Governor Issues Exec Order Altering Concealed Carry Permit Requirements Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

CO Governor Issues Exec Order Altering Concealed Carry Permit Requirements Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Amid the recent widespread coronavirus meltdown, most counties in the state of Colorado have halted the issuing of new concealed handgun permits due to government agencies suspending all fingerprinting and other non-essential in-person contact in an effort to comply with public health directives. This included the required fingerprinting while issuing a new concealed handgun permit.

After several county sheriffs urged the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to put a temporary process in place to issue these permits, Colorado Governor Jared Polis included a section related to concealed handgun permits in Executive Order D-2020-029 which was issued on Monday, April 6, 2020. This section of the order alters the requirements to apply for and issue a concealed handgun permit under C.R.S. 18-12-205 by doing two things: suspending the in-person requirements, and eliminating the requirement that the sheriff must take two complete sets of an applicant’s fingerprints to submit to the CBI.  The order goes on to strongly encourage sheriffs to only issue a temporary emergency permit which would expire after 90 days as well as conduct a Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC)/National Crime Information Center (NCIC) check of each applicant. The governor is also encouraging sheriffs to revisit and reevaluate permits issued under this executive order once the health directives have been lifted.  It appears these are only suggestions and ultimately the process will be left up to the individual county sheriffs to determine on a community level.

Here is the related excerpt of Executive Order D-2020-029:

I.  I temporarily suspend the “in person” requirements related to the application and issuance of permits to carry concealed handguns (Concealed Handgun Permits) contained in C.R.S. §§ 18-12-205(2)(a), (2)(b), (3)(a), (3)(b), and (4)(a). I also temporarily suspend the requirement in C.R.S. § 18-12-205(4)(b) that a sheriff shall take two (2) complete sets of an applicant’s fingerprints to submit to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In assessing each Concealed Handgun Permit application, I strongly encourage sheriffs, in order to maintain safety through social distancing, to first consider issuance of a temporary emergency permit pursuant to C.R.S. § 18-12-209 (valid for an initial period of ninety (90) days) if appropriate, and second, to conduct a Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC)/National Crime Information Center (NCIC) check of each applicant to determine whether the applicant is eligible to possess a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) before issuing a Concealed Handgun Permit. During the effective period of this Executive Order, sheriffs may issue Concealed Handgun Permits pursuant C.R.S. §§ 18- 12-206 or -209 upon completion of the requirements of C.R.S. § 18-12-205, as modified by this Executive Order. Upon expiration of this Executive Order, I strongly encourage sheriffs to revisit and reevaluate permits granted under this Executive Order for compliance with all of the mandates in C.R.S. § 18-12-205.

With record breaking gun sales in the past thirty days, the limitations of the permitting process for those wishing to obtain a new conceal carry permit has created barriers, and we believe the better deregulation would be an executive order allowing for constitutional carry (allowing for open or conceal carry without a permit). Currently Colorado law only allows for the open carry of a firearm without a permit while conceal carry requires one.

But another barrier that still exists, even with the latest executive order, is the training requirement under C.R.S. 18-12-203(1)(h).  This statute requires the applicant to submit a training certificate from a handgun training class they completed within the ten years prior.  Although the executive order does suspend the requirement to submit the certificate in person, it does not change any of the training requirements – which explicitly requires in-person contact and makes clear online-only courses do not suffice.

According to C.R.S. 18-12-202(5)(III) the training requirement states:

(III)  A firearms safety course or class that is offered and taught by a certified instructor.
(b)  Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection
(5), “handgun training class” does not include any firearms safety course that allows a person to complete the entire course:(I)  Via the internet or an electronic device; or
(II)  In any location other than the physical location where the certified instructor offers the course

This means that applicants MUST be in both close proximity to other individuals and at a place of business in order to obtain this training certificate, all while under the governor’s own stay-at-home order.

Although if the sheriffs are issuing Temporary Emergency Permits it does suspend the training requirement for 90 days.

Another slice of the governor’s most recent executive order is likely related to the backlog CBI is facing with the unprecedented amount of background checks on gun purchases that has created a wait time of several days.

This section of the order waives the requirement that CBI make a determination within 30 days on denied background checks when the transferree claims it was imporperly denied.  Although the order is only good until April 30th or until any extension is lifted, it’s unclear how long CBI would have after it’s lifted.

Here is the related excerpt:

K.  I temporarily suspend the requirement in C.R.S. § 24-33.5-424(5)(b)(II) that CBI render a
final administrative decision regarding the denial of a firearm transfer within thirty (30)
days after receiving information from the transferee that alleges the transfer was
improperly denied, to provide CBI with additional time to complete these duties in light
of the support they are providing to the State during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the
expectation that CBI will fulfill these duties as soon as practicable.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith has already put into place how his office plans to utilize the deregulation surrounding this executive order and concealed handgun permits.  According to a post on the Sheriff’s Facebook page, they do intend to run applicants through NCIC as well as complete fingerprinting once the health directives have been lifted.

If you would like to know how your county is handling this, please contact them and then report back to us.  We’ll keep on top of the situation.

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Colorado Legislature Introduces Mandatory Safe Gun Storage Bill

Colorado Legislature Introduces Mandatory Safe Gun Storage Bill

In a Facebook post, Colorado State Representative Monica Duran announced that she has introduce a “Safe Gun Storage” bill along with State Representative Kevin Mullica.  HB20-1355 Secure Storage of Firearms can be found here.

In Duran’s post, she states:

I am proud to be running Safe Gun Storage alongside Representative Mullica, being introduced today. Gun suicide claims the lives of 23,000 Americans annually, including 1,100 children and teens, making it a public health crisis in the U.S.

In over 80% of youth suicides involving a firearm, the gun belonged to a family member. Approximately 90% of suicide attempts involving a firearm end in death, compared to 4% for attempts not involving a firearm.

Every day, eight children are unintentionally shot or killed by a gun. A study found that households that locked both firearms and ammunition had an 85% lower risk of unintentional gun deaths compared to those who lock neither.

I look forward to improving public safety in our communities with this bill, and thank you to all of the advocates with Moms Demand Action who were able to join us today!


Constitutionality:

There are obviously some serious questions about what this law will look like and how bill sponsors plan to get around constitutionality.

Attorney Joseph Greenlee of Steamboat Springs has already written about this issue.  In a January 8, 2020 article for Complete Colorado he states:

“Safe storage” laws are unconstitutional because they prohibit immediate self-defense in the home. In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring that firearms be kept inoperable in the home, because it “makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.” A “safe storage” law is another “prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense,” and is unconstitutional for the same reason.

Moreover, the Supreme Court has placed strict limitations on the government’s ability to regulate private conduct within the home. For example, the sanctity of the home prevents government from criminalizing the in-home possession of obscene materials (Stanley v. Georgia), homosexual conduct within the home (Lawrence v. Texas), and the use of contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut).

Indeed, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that the Constitution provides “protection against all governmental invasions of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life.” How Americans decide to store their arms inside their homes is therefore layers of constitutional protection beyond the reach of government.

Suicide:

A glaring hypocritical statement Duran makes is in relation to suicide. According to the CDC, there were 725 firearm suicides nationwide in 2018 for children aged 17 and under, while for that same age group there were 923 suicides by hanging/suffocation.  Colorado’s teen suicide rate has increased by 58% in 3 years and not because of firearms.  In 2018 for ages 0-19 there were 95 total suicides in Colorado, 48 of those were by hanging and 47 were by all other means which include intentional overdose, firearm, and others.  Simply restricting access to firearms does nothing to address the suicide rate and will only push these teens toward other methods.  Until we get to the root cause of suicide, it will not stop.

That said, Colorado’s suicide rates matter and we should all care.  There are private organizations who already work with gun owners in crisis or who worry someone in their home may be in crisis.  Hold My Guns is a private group who is working to partner with FFL’s and police departments to offer a place people can store firearms during a crisis.  There are also multiple suicide prevention hotlines. And recently CU Anschutz unveiled an interactive map that shows out-of-home gun storage facilities for this exact reason.  WTTA.org also offers non-crisis support to gun owners.

And then there are the crisis lines:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255, or chat online
Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online

Accidental Deaths:

Accidents are the result of negligence. Since 1993, gun-accident fatalities have fallen 74 percent. You’ll be hard pressed to find a metric the CDC is tracking that shows such a remarkable trend in the positive direction. For example, you’re fifteen times more likely to be killed as a pedestrian than you will because of a gun accident (2017: 7450 pedestrian vs 486 gun accident). And to make this fact even more remarkable, this reduction in gun accidents happened solely from within the gun community without any intervention from the CDC, the medical establishment, or law enforcement.

Gun owners—and by this I mean law-abiding gun owners since a non-law-abiding gun owner is by definition a criminal—have on their own recognized the need for enhanced gun safety, that alcohol and guns don’t mix, and the need for safe storage to prevent handling by children and to prevent theft. Years ago, safe storage was hiding your guns in the bedroom closet; today gun owners brag about their gun safes.

Don’t take my word for it as the John Hopkins School for Gun Policy and Research says that: “…gun owners who purchase a firearm legally, generally are even more law-abiding than your average person.”

There are also statutes within Colorado Child Abuse law that mandates consequences for parents whose children accidentally cause harm to themselves or others via firearms.

Enforcement:

Lastly, we will need to spend some time reading into the bill language to determine how they intend to enforce this law, as well as who will be required to own a gun safe.  Will it be every gun owner regardless of whether or not they have children?  That’s like saying every car sold must also include a car seat, regardless if the person purchasing the vehicle and car seat will ever need it.

In addition, we’ve already seen here in Colorado that storage doesn’t stop criminals.  The perpetrators in the 2018 STEM School shooting busted into a gun safe using a crow bar and an ax.  They then took the guns to the school where they were stopped by an armed security guard after killing one student.

An accompanying piece of legislation is also expected to be introduced: Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns.  We can already see how they intend to use these laws together.  If you leave your gun in your car while you go into a gun free area such as your child’s school, and it’s stolen, as soon as you report it you will be asked why it wasn’t being “safely stored”, and criminal charges will ensue.  This will only mean less people will report their guns stolen out of fear they will punished.  Punitive laws don’t work.

Stay tuned for more information as we get it, including when these bills will be scheduled for public testimony.  The easiest way to stay up to date is to subscribe to our email list and connect on social media.  Click here to get connected.

 

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CO Sheriff And Red Flag ERPO Critic Steve Reams Gets ERPO’d By Jail Inmate

CO Sheriff, Red Flag ERPO Critic, Steve Reams Gets ERPO'd By Jail Inmate : Rally For Our Rights

One of Colorado’s most outspoken critics of Colorado’s Red Flag ERPO law, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, has been red flagged using the new Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law – and it was an inmate who has been incarcerated in his jail since 2016 on serious drug trafficking charges who filed it – from jail.

On February 25, 2020 the inmate filed the petition. On the petition, which is public record, the inmate claims he falls under the law’s extremely broad definition of ‘household or family member’ by marking the box “I regularly reside or have resided with the respondent in the last 6 months”. I suppose there may be some validity to this, as he is housed in Sheriff Reams’ jail.

In the body of the petition the inmate states that “Sheriff Steve Reams is the rudder of the ship, and that ship being the S.O.G. who carry shotguns inside the jail”.  According to the inmate, these deputies carry these “deadly weapons 24 hours a day intimidating and threatening people for the most minor things, such as get on your bed.”  You can read the entire petition below.

The Weld County jail S.O.G. (Special Operations Group) is responsible for maintaining order in situations involving enhanced security risk.  The “shotguns” they carry are actually devices that fire less-than-lethal projectiles and are only carried by the specialized team of officers.

The petition was dismissed as soon as it landed on the desk of Judge James F. Hartmann, without allowing a temporary hearing where the petitioner would be present but the respondent would not be, and the case decided based on a preponderance of evidence.  The judge wrote an in depth statement as part of his dismissal order which in conclusion stated that the petitioner failed to provide any facts that either Sheriff Reams or his deputies were a “significant risk of causing personal injury to themselves or others in the immediate future” as is required by the law, and that the allegations made were not against any specific individual or Sheriff Reams himself, but instead were an attempt to prevent peace officers from carrying firearms within the jail.  The judge refused to address the threshold question of whether or not his residency inside the jail made him a qualifying petitioner.

In a radio interview with Peter Boyles of 710 KNUS today, Sheriff Reams said he found out about the petition when the dismissal order was emailed to him while he was out of town.  This is because according to the law the person being Red Flagged, the respondent, is not informed of the proceeding until AFTER the first hearing has taken place.

This is the second ERPO filed against a member of law enforcement since the Colorado law took effect January 1, 2020.  The first was filed on January 9, 2020 by Fort Collins resident, Susan Holmes, against a Colorado State University Police Officer who fatally shot her son in 2017.  Her son was carrying an 11 1/2″ bayonet hunting knife and had lunged at the officer before he was killed.  After a circus of a hearing, Holmes was charged with perjury for marking the box on her petition stating she was a ‘household or family member’ because her and the officer had a child in common.  It is far less clear if perjury charges in this new case filed against Reams would stick, as “residency” is not really defined within the scope of the law.

Weld County is one of Colorado’s ten largest counties with a large land mass and diverse demographic.

I myself hold law enforcement to high standards when it comes to excessive force, therefore I feel it should be noted Weld is one of only a few counties where the DA refuses to sign off on no-knock raids, and Sheriff Reams has a record of taking swift action in cases of excessive force.  In November 2019, two Weld County deputies were fired and one resigned after video surfaced of them using excessive force during an interrogation when the suspect refused to cooperate.  Two of them had been with the sheriff’s office for 15 years.  One of the deputies was charged with third degree assault.

Sheriff Reams has been sounding the alarm for over a year now on how Colorado’s poorly written Red Flag law can easily be abused and now he has lived it first hand.  He made international news when he told CNN he’d rather sit in his own jail in contempt than enforce an unconstitutional and dangerous Red Flag order.  Reams has been a great ally to us here at Rally for our Rights, even joining us on stage to speak against the Red Flag ERPO law at rallies as well as teaching seminars on the dangers of the law to gun owners and other concerned citizens.  He also helped lead the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement here in Colorado, of which more than half the state’s counties joined.

A burning question of mine that I’ve brought up many times: Why are these free to file?  Even a small filing fee would deter the most frivolous of cases.  Nothing else in the court system is free to file and even a Temporary Restraining Order is $97.

Proponents of Red Flag laws will undoubtedly point to this case as “working as it intended” since no one had their guns seized or their rights violated.  I would argue against that in several ways.  First, what an absolute waste of court time and taxpayer resources.  Second, how scary is it that these petitions are THIS easy to file?  And third, just as we saw in the Susan Holmes case, we’re again seeing how high profile individuals are naturally awarded protection from the abuses of the law.  If this had been an average citizen, unknown to the judge, and someone they had let crash on their couch for a couple weeks, we’d have a completely different story to tell.  And honestly, that is playing out in Colorado already.  This case is the eighteenth ERPO filed in less than two months and a repeal bill has been introduced into the Colorado State Legislature. That bill will get it’s first hearing on March 12, 2020.

To learn more about Colorado’s Red Flag Law, obtain attorney resources, and/or report if you’re Red Flagged, visit www.redflagresourcecenter.com.

 

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VIDEO: Leftist Protester Wants AK-47 To “Mow Down” Gun Rights Activists

VIDEO: Leftist Protester Wants AK-47 To "Mow Down" Gun Rights Activists

A group called “Longmont Leads With Love” has been protesting every Saturday in the same spot since Trump was elected in 2016.  This group of mostly baby boomers come together in a small commons area at 6th and Main in Longmont, CO.  Their message varies from week to week and person to person, but wanting more gun control is always part of it.  These protests are regularly attended by Longmont City Council members and the city of Longmont even passed a bizarre anti-gun resolution last year.

Recently a handful of Longmont residents decided they were tired of these protesters going unchallenged and started a counter-protest group they’ve coined as “Longmont Leads With Logic“.  So now, while the so-called “Love” group protests, you will find the “Logic” group on the opposite side of the street with signs, flags, and some even openly carrying firearms.

In an attempt to better understand what the “Love” group wants, people from the other side attempt to have conversations with them.  This exchange was caught on video.  A woman dressed in a Handmaid’s Tale costume, who was apparently protesting Trump’s boot on her neck, stated that if she had an AK-47, she’d mow down all the counter-protesters across the street.  Not very “loving” if you ask us.

WATCH!

 

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VIDEO: Police Break Down Susan Holmes’ Door To Make Arrest For “Red Flag” ERPO Perjury Charge

VIDEO: Police Break Down Susan Holmes’ Door To Make Arrest For “Red Flag” ERPO Perjury Charge

Susan Holmes has been arrested and it happened during a live stream with YouTuber “timmybmn”.  For over 20 minutes, on the uncut version of the video, Holmes discussed her son’s case as well as Red Flag laws.  The entire time police can be heard outside.  Eventually they break into her home and arrest her while still on the YouTube stream.  The arrest occurs approx at the 10:40 timestamp in the video below.

WATCH!

Nine days into Colorado’s atrocious Red Flag ERPO law being on the books, Susan Holmes made national news by filing a petition against a police officer who killed her mentally unstable knife wielding son in 2017.  On the petition Susan claimed her and Officer Phillip Morris had a child in common, which made her a qualifying person.  “Child in common” has no definition included on the petition.  She live streamed the filing of the petition on her YouTube channel.  You can watch that here.

Holmes managed to find a loophole in the law that allowed her to skip the Temporary ERPO hearing where the petition likely would have been denied at the door, and go right to a Permanent ERPO hearing instead.  This meant a full hearing where both parties were required to be present and both parties would have as much time as needed to present their case. This hearing was a circus and was denied in the end.  We were there and you can read our recap here.

On January 23, 2020 the Larimer County DA issued an arrest warrant for Holmes and even added her to the county’s Most Wanted list.  Her charges? Perjury and Attempting to Influence a Public Servant.  According to Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, the Perjury charge was based on the false statement on the petition, and the Attempting to Influence a Public Servant charge was because her end goal was to have a judge grant an Extreme Risk Protection Order on Officer Morris.

Let us know your thoughts on this latest development in the comments.  Do you think if a civilian had a fraudulent Red Flag ERPO filed against them, the person who filed the false petition would be receiving the same treatment as Susan Holmes?

To learn more about Colorado’s Red Flag Law, obtain attorney resources, and/or report if you’re Red Flagged, visit www.redflagresourcecenter.com.

 

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