Edgewater, CO Gets Flooded With Opposition Over Proposed Gun Control, Scales It Back

Edgewater, CO Gets Flooded With Opposition Over Proposed Gun Control, Scales It Back

On Tuesday, April 19 the Edgewater City Council held a work session to discuss a whole laundry list of potential gun control ordinances the city could consider passing. This was on the heels of another work session they’d held where a representative from gun control extremist group Ceasefire Colorado gave a presentation about how to “reduce gun violence” in their city, during which they provided grossly inaccurate information to the council. It should be noted Edgewater is a city of 5,000 people and less than 1 square mile that sits in the suburbs west of Denver in Jefferson County.

Here is the list the City Council discussed item by item during Tuesday’s meeting (read our prior writeup here):

  1. Prohibiting open carry city-wide.
  2. Prohibiting concealed carry in city-owned buildings and areas, including:
    1. Civic Center and city parks.
  3. Prohibiting conceal carry in other areas and buildings in Edgewater, including:
    1. Bars and liquor stores.
    2. Daycare centers and preschools.
    3. Medical facilities, including hospitals.
    4. Mental Health Care facilities and substance abuse treatment facilities
    5. Event venues, theaters, etc.
  4. Banning specific weapons, including:
    1. So-called “assault weapons”
    2. Large capacity magazines.
    3. So-called “ghost guns”
    4. Trigger activators such as bump stocks.
    5. Certain ammunition, such as 50-caliber, or armor piercing.
  5. Purchase and transfer of weapons, including:
    1. Setting a minimum age of 21 for all weapons and establishing a waiting period of 3-10 days.
  6. Regulating gun dealers with such things as (but not all inclusive):
    1. Extensive on-site security including video surveillance, steel bars, locked up firearms, behind counter storage of all guns, among other things.
    2. Prohibiting the display of firearms and ammunition in windows.
    3. Increasing standards for all employees.
    4. Periodic inventory reporting.
    5. Required reporting of certain sales.
    6. Required signage on gun violence issues.
    7. Prohibiting retail in residential neighborhoods.
    8. Reporting of stolen firearms within 48 hours.

As the meeting began, Edgewater Mayor John Beltrone was clearly surprised by the number of people who had filled the council chambers both in person and online. Dozens were there to provide public comment. Mayor Beltrone emphasized again and again that nothing was going to be voted on during the meeting, that it was all just discussion, as if we aren’t hip as to where these ordinances begin.

For 3 1/2 hours the council went through the list line by line, with each item they allowed a representative from Ceasefire to “explain” what it was and why it was needed. The information given by Ceasefire was so warped and inaccurate that several people corrected her during public comment. This so-called expert insisted 50 cal ammo was used by civilians to shoot airplanes out of the sky! Dead serious.

The city attorney then addressed the legal issues with each item, most of which he made clear the Supreme Court has yet to make rulings on, so pursuing them would undoubtedly mean the city would find it’s self embroiled in lawsuits.

There was a lot of confusion among council members and the city attorney about things like what a “ghost gun” actually is, let alone any knowledge about the current laws surrounding private gun making and non-serialized firearms. In fact, most of the items on the list they lacked knowledge of current  law. This was glaringly obvious when they decided to pursue 6.8 on the list – requiring gun stores to report stolen guns to law enforcement within 48 hours. This is already a Federal Law.

During the public comment period, dozens of people spoke in opposition to their gun control list, some discussing how they had moved out of Denver to Edgewater so they had the ability to defend their families, unlike Denver who continues to restrict the right to self defense further and further. Two people spoke in support of Edgewater’s proposed measures.

By the end of the meeting, most of the list was scrapped with a decision to move forward with yet another work session to discuss the following: Item 2 – banning concealed carry on city property; Item 3.2 banning concealed carry in daycare and preschools; Item 4.3 banning ghost guns; and Item 6.8 requiring gun stores to report lost or stolen guns within 48 hours. They promised next time to bring in some experts from “both sides”. We’ll see if they follow up on this, but we’ve reached out to help facilitate it.

At the time of this writing, Edgewater has not set a date for the next work session. We’ll keep you updated.

Thank you to everyone who spoke up. Gun control is like a cancer that will spread if we aren’t diligent every time it tries to rear it’s ugly head. You may not live in Edgewater, but your community is watching – and hopefully taking note that the people won’t be happy if they try to bring this to your town.


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Edgewater, CO Wants To Strip Nearly All Gun Rights From Their Law Abiding Citizens

Edgewater, CO Wants To Strip Nearly All Gun Rights From Their Law Abiding Citizens

 

The small city of Edgewater, Colorado has a population of about 5,000 people and a police force of a whopping 15 officers. Yet they are about to turn their safe little town into the gun control virtue signaling capital of the state.

If you’re a resident, know residents, or even simply travel through or to Edgewater, please make sure to speak up and share this information.

According to an Edgewater City Council agenda for the April 19th meeting, the following will be considered for passage:

  • Prohibiting open carry city-wide.
  • Prohibiting concealed carry in city-owned buildings and areas, including:
    • Civic Center and city parks.
  • Prohibiting conceal carry in other areas and buildings in Edgewater, including:
    • Bars and liquor stores.
    • Daycare centers and preschools.
    • Medical facilities, including hospitals.
    • Mental Health Care facilities and substance abuse treatment facilities
    • Event venues, theaters, etc.
  • Banning specific weapons, including:
    • So-called “assault weapons” (which includes commonly owned semi-automatic rifles).
    • Large capacity magazines.
    • So-called “ghost guns” (guns made by individuals from parts, but which lack serial numbers).
    • Trigger activators such as bump stocks.
    • Certain ammunition, such as 50-caliber, or armor piercing.
  • Purchase and transfer of weapons, including:
    • Setting a minimum age of 21 for all weapons and establishing a waiting period of 3-10 days.
  • Regulating gun dealers with such things as (but not all inclusive):
    • Extensive on-site security including video surveillance, steel bars, locked up firearms, behind counter storage of all guns, among other things.
    • Prohibiting the display of firearms and ammunition in windows.
    • Increasing standards for all employees.
    • Periodic inventory reporting.
    • Required reporting of certain sales.
    • Required signage on gun violence issues.
    • Prohibiting retail in residential neighborhoods.

The city council will be discussing all these measures during their scheduled meeting at 6:30pm Tuesday, April 19th. You can attend the meeting in-person or virtual.

In-person: 1800 Harlan St, Edgewater, CO 80214

Virtual: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/593941517

CLICK HERE to email the entire council at once.

If you have trouble using that link, here is a simple list you can copy/paste into your email client.

[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected]EdgewaterCO.com,[email protected]EdgewaterCO.com,[email protected]EdgewaterCO.com,[email protected]EdgewaterCO.com,[email protected]EdgewaterCO.com

More on this story from Complete Colorado: https://pagetwo.completecolorado.com/2022/04/15/city-of-edgewater-to-consider-sweeping-gun-rights-restrictions-concealed-carry-among-targets/

 



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Recap Of Denver’s Really Messy Concealed Carry Ban Hearing

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

In case you missed the news last week about Denver’s unprecedented move to ban concealed carry in city parks and buildings owned by, leased by, or leased to the City of Denver, it was probably because the mainstream media completely ignored it. But we’re all over it.

The first hearing took place on Wednesday, April 13 in the Denver Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee. At the end of the meeting it was decided to postpone “action” until the many questions and concerns brought up during the meeting could be addressed. They will bring it back to this committee on April 27th.  CLICK HERE to email the entire committee at once.

The hearing was a mess. Assistant City Attorney Reggie Nubine led the presentation, which you can watch HERE. After his presentation, the public was invited to speak on the proposal. Of the 12 who had signed up, 2 were ultimately unavailable when it came time to speak, 7 spoke against the proposal, and 3 spoke in favor. This was followed by an extensive amount of discussion among the council and committee members. Question after question came up that no one from the City Attorney’s office was able to answer, something that anyone should find incredibly alarming while trying to push rights-crushing laws for their citizens.

I’ll break down some of the more glaring questions here:

Why are they doing this?

It’s part of the “Mayor’s Vision” as laid out in the 2022 Public Safety Action Plan (page 5, City Attorney’s Office, item 2).

It was pointed out that in the Mayor’s actual Safety Plan document it says “Developing and implementing a Conceal Carry Ban in city-owned facilities” and nowhere does it mention “leased to or leased by” buildings, or parks. When asked about the expansion to include this additional criteria, a representative for the city attorney’s office stumbled with an answer only to eventually say they were sure it was part of a “future plan”.

How will this law be enforced? Will they implement stop and frisk policies?

They will be relying on a “see something, say something” policy as enforcement. For example if someone inside a library were to think they may have seen a concealed firearm when another patron bends over, the person who saw it is supposed to report it to the library staff who will then report it to local law enforcement to handle. Because we all know cops have nothing better to do with their time in Denver.

No answer about stop and frisk policies.

If this is a “see something, say something” enforcement policy that relies on citizens policing citizens then engaging law enforcement, does it open the door to racial profiling? Could a person simply call the police on a black person in a park and say they saw a hidden gun and have that person be targeted by law enforcement? 

No answer, of course.

What would be the step by step law enforcement protocol to handling these reports?

No one had any idea.

What are the demographic trends of concealed carry permit holders over the past 5 years? 

No one has looked into this.

What other constitutional rights are fully banned on public property in Denver?

None that anyone is aware of.

Are parking lots included and with the requirement to now leave firearms in cars instead of carrying on body, are they creating a bigger problem that could lead to even more increased firearm theft, as there is hard data behind the use of stolen firearms in crime?

No parking lots are not included in the ban. Crickets on the rest.

What about parks outside of Denver owned by the city of Denver? Several were mentioned including parks in Cherry Creek, Douglas County, and Winter Park. Had the city attorney’s office corresponded with law enforcement in these areas to see if they are willing to enforce such a ban?

Yes, it does include parks outside of Denver if they are owned by the city of Denver – and turns out there are a lot. Park rangers are in charge of these parks but they would not be in charge of enforcement, instead they would be expected to report anyone they may suspect of concealed carrying a firearm to local law enforcement who would be responsible for enforcement. Yet no one actually asked those local law enforcement agencies how they felt about this.

Why are the only stakeholders anti-gun groups and have they reached out to groups representing those with concealed carry permits?

During the presentation, a slide showing stakeholders as Everytown for Gun Safety, Ceasefire, and Moms Demand Action was presented. Glaringly absent from stakeholders was anyone who actually works with those who own firearms and exercise their right to self defense. When asked if they’d reached to other groups, their answer was no, and again, a whole lot of stumbling around an answer took place.

What is the process when obtaining a concealed carry permit in Denver? Do they inform the recipient of local laws?

Fingerprinting, background check, completed training – and no, they don’t inform permit recipients of the laws, they are expected to know them.

How much would signage cost?

No one knows but they anticipate doing it in a phased plan that would update signage language as signs need replaced.

So, what’s next? The same committee will reconvene to discuss again on April 27, 2022 at which time hopefully the questions above will be answered. It’s unknown at this time if they will be accepting public comment again but regardless citizens can and should attend in person if possible.

During the meeting, one councilwoman gave a tone deaf speech about how even though they know they can’t enforce laws like this, it sends a “message” to the community that guns aren’t welcome here. Well, legal guns anyway. I can’t help but point out how everything she said goes against #2 in their larger vision because as is obvious from all of the questions above, there are some glaring issues with this increasing negative law enforcement contact with the public.

 

 


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New CO Gun Law Could Have Disarmed Johnny Hurley

New CO Gun Law Could Have Disarmed Johnny Hurley

Two days prior to a violent madman with a vengeance being killed by an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that would allow any locality in the state to ban concealed carry. To be exact, the bill allows for counties, municipalities, special districts, and college campuses to ban what the terrified demanding moms kept referring to as “hidden guns” during the hours of bill testimony. For reference, Colorado has 64 counties, 217 municipalities, 2800 special districts, and 62 college campuses. The gun control extremists elected to the state legislature, along with the governor, somehow felt THIS was going to make society a safer place. Arvada proved a different story.

On Monday, June 22nd Johnny Hurley was in the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store when he heard 15-20 shots from a rifle or tactical shotgun in the square not even 50 yards away. A deranged individual had ambushed Arvada police officer Gordon Beesley, taking his life in a matter of seconds. According to first hand accounts of what happened next, Hurley exited the store in the direction of the gunfire. The madman briefly went out of view behind the library after firing the initial 10-15 shots. Johnny shouted at onlookers behind him to stay inside and hide because the gunman was coming back. Johnny used this as an opportunity to run towards the library where the shooter was and hide behind a brick wall. Upon the shooter walking again back toward the square, Johnny pulled out his concealed pistol and shot 5-6 rounds toward the suspect, killing him. What happened next remains under investigation, but Arvada PD has released that Hurley was shot by a responding Arvada police officer claiming Hurley was holding the shooters rifle. Arvada police are not equipped with bodycams, so the investigation is ongoing.

Situations like this are chaotic, fast, and fluid. Anyone who runs toward gunfire knows there is a chance they may not make it out alive. But heroes like Johnny are willing to take the risk, and we will never know how many lives Johnny saved that day, because when lives aren’t lost, it’s much harder for the gun grabbers to get a body count to exploit in an effort to push for their next ineffective gun control law.

Yet these are the people, the Johnnys of the world, are who our lawmakers wish to disarm, and laws like SB21-256 which I referenced above are evidence.  They never ask themselves how they can stop the madman. They will never ask if their fever pitch, yet hollow, anti-police rhetoric over the past year pushed this evil individual to feel he was justified in his desire to ambush police, innocent bystanders be damned. Hell, maybe this guy even believed he was doing it on their behalf. I say their rhetoric is hollow because it is. If they truly cared about law enforcement reform and decreasing citizen-police interaction, they wouldn’t create a bill that allows 3,143 different localities within the state to create different laws affecting gun owners of every race, gender, creed, and sexual orientation, which SB21-256 did. Their hollow virtue signaling is dangerous.

Johnny Hurley was a friend to many freedom fighters in Colorado. I met him briefly in 2019 when I spoke regularly about Colorado’s Red Flag law. He was a supporter and protector of all our rights. He spoke frequently about his desire to protect others, if need be.

According to friend Elliot Darling:

“He always had the gun with him, and we were always like, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ And he was like, ‘Well one day, you never know.’ And of course, that one day came, and he was prepared.”

Patrons who were in nearby restaurants when shots rang out continue to leave comments on a GoFundMe set up for Johnny by a friend, thanking him for his heroic acts.

“My parents and I were in the Schoolhouse restaurant when shots rang out. I have two small kids at home and I thought I would never see them again. John is a true hero and I am forever in debt to him. My heart breaks for the loss of his life. Prayers to his family and friends.” – Brittany M.

“John saved my and my girlfriends life. We were in the direct line of fire, in the So Radish restaurant. Bullets came through the window and we took cover under the table as the shooting continued. Knowing we were trapped and easy targets if the gunman came in, we ran to the back of the restaurant. I have no doubt whatsoever that if John had not taken an active role in stopping the gunman, many more innocent people would have died. I wish I could thank him in person and I wish I could give much more. I won’t forget him for as long as I live. Thank you John for your bravery!!!” – Tory F.

It’s also worth noting the store Johnny was in was not a gun free zone. Had it been, he may have left his firearm in the car, like gun rights supporter Denny Stong, who was killed unarmed during the March massacre inside a nearby Boulder King Soopers. Twenty year old Stong had just returned from shooting when he was killed. He had told friends and family he couldn’t wait to turn 21 so he could get his concealed carry permit. In Kroger stores like King Soopers though, even if he had been 21, that would have been against their “gun free” policy – a policy that does nothing to stop those wishing to do harm but certainly does stop many who don’t want to break the rules.

I’ll end with a powerful statement a friend and fellow supporter of the right to self defense, Greg Powers, wrote:

When the gun control extremists start with the narrative that citizens should not carry weapons or intervene in dangerous situations, our verbal response should be logical and directly to the point of motivation behind responding to these situations.

In Florida, Officer Scot Peterson was getting paid while he stood outside Marjory Stoneman high school for 48 minutes listening to rifle fire while a shooter walked through the school unimpeded. In Arvada, armed citizen Johnny Hurley voluntarily RAN toward the gunfire in less than a minute to save lives. He shot the suspect and ended the attack. If shit hits the fan near your loved ones, who would you rather have nearby?

Chances are unless someone is running errands alone, they will be out with friends or family. Eating Dinner, shopping, etc. They will be the first responder not only for themselves, but for their friends/family. Asking them to wait for police to respond and then interpret the situation (who/where are the bad guys etc.) is going to be too late. If an armed parent had been outside Marjory Stoneman when the shooting began, I guarantee they would have done the same thing Johnny Hurley did in Arvada and run toward the sound of gunfire. They would NOT be sitting outside for 48 minutes thinking “gee, I hope my kid is ok”

Rest in Peace Mr. Hurley.

Johnny Hurley will always hold a special place in my heart as a hero, right up there with Kendrick Castillo, the brave 18 year old young man who rushed a fellow student, and killer, during the 2019 STEM School Shooting. Because of Kendrick’s actions that day, none of his classmates died, although he did.

Here is a link to Johnny’s GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/good-samaritan-john-hurley

Here is a link to an event to honor Johnny on Saturday, June 26th at 1pm in Longmont, CO: https://www.facebook.com/events/541045126925632

Concealed Carry Banned Under Proposed Colorado Control Gun Law

Concealed Carry Banned Under Proposed Colorado Gun Law

In light of the tragic mass shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder, the gun control extremists in the Colorado legislature are taking aim at concealed carry. It should be noted the Boulder shooter did not have a concealed carry permit, nor did he attempt to conceal his firearm.

SB21-256 Local Regulation of Firearms essentially repeals and replaces the 2003 firearm preemption law in Colorado Revised Statutes which prohibits local governments from creating firearm laws that would differ from state law. This 2003 law is important because if each of our 64 counties and 271 municipalities had different laws regulating firearms, things could get pretty messy for gun owners who have every intention of obeying the law.

This bill would replace the preemption language with new language stating firearm laws are, in fact, a matter of local concern, and local governments can enact their own laws but ONLY if they are more strict than state law – otherwise those Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties would grow some teeth.

In the day and age of criminal justice reform being such an important and versed issue, it would seem most plausible they wouldn’t want to make it harder for people to obey the law. That obviously doesn’t apply to gun owners.

SB21-256 changes current preemption language to state a “…local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law governing or prohibiting the sale, purchase, transfer or possession of a firearm, ammunition, or firearm component or accessory that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, transfer, or possess under state or federal law.”

This means any of those 64 counties or 271 towns and cities would be able to restrict firearms to whatever level their governing body should choose. Undoubtedly Second Amendment court challenges would follow…

The bill then goes on to add “…a local government, including a special district, or the governing board of an institution of higher education many enact an ordinance, resolution, rule, or other regulation that prohibits a permittee from carrying a concealed handgun in a building or specific area within the local government’s or governing board’s jurisdiction.”

This language allows for any of those 64 counties, 271 towns and cities, 2,800 special districts, or 64 colleges to ban concealed carry whenever and wherever they’d like within their jurisdiction. Does this mean just parks and government buildings? Or downtown areas?  Or can they choose to ban concealed carry within their entire city or county limits? From the way the bill is currently worded, they’d be able to ban it at city or county limits.  And have no doubt, many cities would love to enact a conceal carry ban and strip their citizens of the right to self defense.

So, quick recap: After a madman murdered 10 people in a grocery store, in a state where violent crime is skyrocketing, the solution lawmakers have come up with to prevent tragedies like this from happening again is to strip responsible gun owners, and those worried for their own self protection, of their right to self defense in their own towns, counties, and even on college campuses where 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted.

Many may think this bill is a knee-jerk reaction, but have no doubt, it is an intentional swipe at the firearm preemption law that has been in place since 2003. Ten days before the Boulder King Soopers shooting, a Boulder County District Judge overturned a City of Boulder ordinance banning so-called “assault weapons” along with magazines over 10 rounds. Virtue signaling gun grabbers like to use this example as to why the preemption law needs repealed. What they fail to mention is Boulder’s own set of gun laws would have done nothing to stop the shooter.  He didn’t live in Boulder.  He didn’t purchase his firearm in Boulder.  The heinous acts he committed are already highly illegal and would have carried a maximum sentence of the death penalty had Colorado not repealed it in 2020.  The only other crime committed by the Boulder shooter that would have been covered under Boulder’s own specific town laws is the open carrying of a long gun outside of the vehicle in the King Soopers parking lot – before he began his massacre. That part of the Boulder ordinance was NOT overturned by the judge, yet the Boulder DA has not added it to his list of charges.  The Boulder DA also has not added the crime of lying on ATF Form 4473 which the shooter did when he answered yes to question 21(c): if he’d ever been convicted of a crime that carried a maximum penalty of 12 months or more in prison even if he received a lesser sentence including probation. In 2017 he was convicted of Third Degree Assault which is a Misdemeanor 1 carrying a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison. Lying on ATF Form 4473 is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

This bill passed the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee on Tuesday, May 11th.  It has not yet been scheduled for Second Reading in the Senate.

Please email your State Senators and ask they vote NO on this atrocious bill! 

Not sure who your State Senator is? Look them up HERE.
If you know who your State Senator is but need contact info, find all their info on our Elected Officials page HERE.

Follow all Colorado gun related legislation at our Legislative Watch page HERE.

 

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CO Gun Bills Expose Glaring Assault On Victims Rights After Floor Debate Amendments Fail

CO Gun Bills Expose Glaring Assault On Victims Rights After Floor Debate Amendments Fail

 

This past week, two Colorado gun control bills have been rapidly making their way through the state legislature. While HB21-1106: Mandatory Safe Storage of Firearms originated in the house, SB21-078: Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns was introduced in the senate, both on Feb 16, 2021. This was undoubtedly a strategic move to keep gun rights activists chasing the zig zag between the two chambers. It culminated Tuesday morning when Lost and Stolen Guns was being heard in the senate, while Safe Storage was on third reading in the house. Both passed their respective hearings. Safe Storage will move on to the State Senate where the process will begin again and it must pass before landing on the governor’s desk, and Lost and Stolen guns will be heard for it’s final vote in the senate Wednesday morning before moving on to the State House of Representatives.

Confused yet?  Yeah…that was intentional on their part. Long story short, both bills continue to move forward – and fast.

Debate on Mandatory Safe Storage on the house floor went for nearly 10 hours with 27 amendments being offered by Republicans, all but one amendment was voted down. You can watch the debate here and part 2 here. Debate on Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns went relatively fast, lasting about an hour, with three amendments being offered, all rejected. You can watch that one here.

One thing became glaringly obvious while watching debate on these bills coupled with the rejection of amendment after amendment: gun owners lives do not matter to the gun grabbing Democrats down at the state capitol. The vote was along party lines with one Democrat joining Republicans in their efforts.

The Assault On Victim’s Rights

During both the debate on Safe Storage as well as Lost and Stolen Guns, amendments were put forth to protect victims of crime.

The following amendments were struck down by Democrats:

Amendment L-054 would have made it impossible for a person to be charged with the qualifying Class 2 Misdemeanor if the discovery of an unlocked firearm happened during a lawful entrance into a person’s home, such as during the commission of a crime against the person. For example: a woman is the victim of domestic violence in her own home, and police arrive at the scene. Upon entering the home they find a handgun on the kitchen table which had been used in her assault. There is a one year old toddler in the home. This domestic violence victim is now a criminal for not keeping the firearm locked up even if not at her own hands. This amendment was rejected along party lines.

Another amendment would have exempted persons from Safe Storage requirements who have active restraining orders against another person because they are in imminent danger.  Struck down by Democrats. If you are in such imminent danger even the courts agree, too bad, keep that gun locked up and inaccessible, call the police, that’s their solution.

And yet another amendment would have exempted gun owners in the event a juvenile trespasses onto their property and steals a firearm. Doesn’t matter. If you live alone with your cat and never have another person in your home, YOU will be held responsible for the crime another person commits in breaking into your home and stealing your property, and be slapped with a Class 2 Misdemeanor for not locking up your guns.

During the Lost and Stolen Guns debate three amendments were presented.  These amendments stated that if the firearm was stolen during an incident in which the person or a member of the persons immediate family was a victim of homicide (amendment 1), or a victim of kidnapping (amendment 2), or a victim of sexual assault (amendment 3) they would be exempt from the 5 day day reporting requirement. This is because rational people understand that when such trauma happens, reporting a gun lost or stolen is unlikely at the top of their priority list and during times of grief and/or processing the trauma, this can easily be overlooked or even create more trauma for the victim. All three of these amendments failed.

Yet another amendment offered and rejected would have given a gun owner or their family an avenue to sue the state if one is injured or killed while being unable to protect themselves due to the requirement to keep their guns “safely stored” where they are much more inaccessible should the need for self defense arise.  Funny the same party who preaches putting an end to qualified immunity would reject such a measure.

Last but not least, three amendments were presented that would have provided 7 days (amendment 1), then 3 days (amendment 2), and finally 24 hours (amendment 3) to come into compliance if found to be in violation of this new law that has no funding for the educational campaign. Those not paying attention are expected to “just know”.

They Also Reject Gun Owners Being Involved In Educational Campaign Development

An amendment was voted down that would have required the development of the Safe Storage educational campaign to include consultation with the Division of Criminal Justice and Public Safety, non-profit organizations that provide firearms safety education and training, members of the firearm industry, including manufacturers, dealers and importers, along with other experts in firearm safety. Because to them, it makes no sense to have stakeholders at the table who will actually be affected by this law and understand how to connect with gun owners.

Another amendment would have added a requirement that all 7th graders complete a firearms safety course, something that would help immensely with accidental shootings.

Exempting law enforcement officers, veterans, active duty military, and similar from Safe Storage was another amendment killed.

This was followed by an amendment that would have given some teeth to the Second Amendment Sanctuary counties who tend to be immune to many of the firearm crime issues that plague more urban areas such as school shootings and gun theft.

One Amendment Did Pass

The one amendment that DID pass will require information about organizations such as Hold My Guns and other community programs that allow firearm owners to voluntarily and temporarily store firearms at a secure location outside of the home in times of crisis be part of the unfunded educational campaign.

You can follow these bills and others, find legislator contact info, and even sign up to provide public comment at our Legislative Watch page.

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Colorado Mandatory Firearm Storage Bill Advances

Colorado Legislature Introduces Mandatory Safe Gun Storage Bill

Safe Storage of Firearms (HB21-1106) sponsored by Representatives Monica Duran and Kevin Mullica along with State Senators Jeff Bridges and Chris Hansen, was signed by Governor Polis on April 19, 2021.

During committee hearings and floor debate, a few things became clear about this bill:

• Applies to homes with kids or prohibited persons. It was a little unclear if it would extend to if you had children or prohibited persons in your home but they don’t live there.
• The bill sponsors were unsure about if it included vehicles, so they had to get the bill drafter to ask him. He wasn’t even totally sure but didn’t think it did.

Here’s how they intend to enforce it:

• Via discovery of unlocked firearms through other police contact, such as if the police are in your home for other reasons…welfare check, ERPO’s, another crime committed.
• See Something, Say Something™ reporters, such as family or friends in the home who are aware there are unlocked firearms. They will be encouraged to turn you in.
• After an incident has already taken place.
• And we truly believe from the Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns via the accompanying bill.

Our take on this bill…

Privilege: This bill will disproportionately affect the poorest in society, essentially limiting the ability and right to self defense to those who can afford it or face being a criminal. A better option would be a bill that makes gun safes tax free. Or maybe “Daddy Bloomberg” could use his money buying gun safes for those those who can’t afford them. Or safes for all of us to keep in our cars to put our gun in when we go into his beloved gun free zones.

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 often made by the gun grabbers 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:

It’s unclear how they intend to enforce this law, and right here in Colorado we’ve already seen 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 was also signed by the governor: 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.

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California: 21 Shot, 11 Fatally, and 1 School Bomb Attempt During Week of Widespread Violence

The state with the most strict gun control in the nation, California, is giving Chicago a run for their money.  In the past seven days, they have seen three horrific shootings taking 11 lives and injuring 21 as well as a school bombing attempt that was foiled by the groundskeeper.

On Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 a 16 year old boy used a .45 semi-automatic handgun to open fire at his Santa Clarita, CA high school.  He murdered two students and wounded three others before taking his own life. The shooter’s father had died in 2016 and had a history of domestic violence in the home prior to his death.  It has been reported that at one time law enforcement legally confiscated six firearms from the father based on their ability to track the serial numbers to him through California’s “this-is-not-a-registry” program.  It is now being reported that the firearm used in the school shooting was a privately manufactured firearm that did not have a serial number. It is not known where he obtained it.

Another horrific incident took place in San Diego, CA on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019.  During this massacre, a father used a handgun to kill his wife, three of their children, and then himself.  Another child survived and was last reported to be in critical condition. In this tragic incident, the mother had filed for a restraining order just days before but it is unclear if it was ever served, although a restraining order is nothing more than a piece of paper.

Only one day later in Fresno, CA on Sunday, Nov 17, 2019 a family was gathered in a backyard watching a football game when two unknown suspects entered the yard through the back fence and opened fire in to the group.  Four people were killed and six others wounded.  It is reported that the family was part of the Hmong community, and possibly the attack was related to a violent Hmong gang.  The perpetrators are still at large.

To finish off the violent week, on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 a homemade bomb was found and defused at a San Jose, CA high school.  A groundskeeper found the device in the bushes right next to the school.  The school was placed in lockdown, administrative offices were evacuated, and a bomb squad was called in.  After some time the bomb was rendered safe and evacuations of the entire campus began.  Bomb dogs were brought in and area was cleared.  There are no suspects at this time.

Wow, what a terrible week for a state who continues to add more gun control laws on top of more gun control laws.  A state that has had a “Red Flag” law in place since 2014 and just recently passed legislation making that particular law so extreme even the ACLU opposed it.  In fact, California just added seven new anti-gun laws to their already extensive roster.

These atrocities are not supposed to happen in California.  They have “the laws”, ya know!  

As expected, national gun control advocates are already screaming for an assault weapons ban and expanded background checks because of the incidents I listed above.  Never mind California requires background checks on everything right down to ammo.  And each of these incidents used handguns, not so-called “assault weapons”, well, except for the homemade bomb.

Although honestly, I think this week of violence tells a much more important story, one that gun rights activists such as myself have been trying to help people understand.  Until we get to the root of the violence, it will not stop.  

And it’s even bigger than that.  Lawmakers need to stop grouping together violent crimes under the umbrella of “gun violence” or “mass shootings”.  It does a disservice to the victims.  It derails meaningful conversation and real solution seeking.

Let’s look at school shootings for example.  When will we start asking the hard questions about what is happening in schools that makes these children want to execute their classmates and teachers?  Why have suicide rates among children, teens, and young adults skyrocketed?  Why are our children choosing death?  These are questions those seeking gun control don’t ask.  They can’t, because it distracts from their heartless goal of disarming citizens.  When I talk with gun grabbers or law makers pushing for more gun control, I often start with the premise that we all agree on the problem, and I mean that.  The problem: school shootings are horrific and heartbreaking and we want to see them end.  We just disagree on the solutions.  The fact that we now have to worry about homemade bombs showing up at schools is a example of why it’s so critical we get to the root cause rather than simply making laws requiring the locking up of guns (which hasn’t stopped school shooters in the past) or making Red Flag laws that clearly have done nothing to prevent tragedy in California.

What about domestic violence?  The motives behind domestic violence murder and murder-suicide are extremely different than school shootings, or public mass shootings, or gang or drug related shootings.  Once again, grouping them in some ambiguous term called “gun violence” and assuming just another gun control law will help is downright dangerous.  Domestic violence is incredibly tricky because the victims are often afraid to leave, and when they do, they are sometimes in extreme danger.  This is why many victims have chosen firearm ownership and training when deciding to leave.  But it also poses yet another potential dangerous aspect to poorly written Red Flag laws because domestic violence perpetrators can actually use these laws to disarm their victims.

As for gang related shootings, tackling this epidemic is troubling as these people thrive on crime. No law will stop them. And again the solution to gang violence is very different than the solution to school shootings or domestic violence.

So, let’s start talking about solutions.  What do you think the solutions are?  Leave them in the comments. 

 

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Gun Memorial Website Honors Dayton, OH Mass Shooter As Gun Violence Victim

Gun Memorial Website Honors Dayton, OH Mass Shooter As Gun Violence Victim Connor Betts

I’ve written about this disturbing “Gun Violence Memorial” website before.  A website that claims to be about honoring victims of gun violence, keeping daily stats, and allowing people to light candles for lost loved ones.  On the surface it sounds genuine, until you start digging deeper and realize they also “honor” perpetrators who are killed justifiably, whether by their victims or by law enforcement.  This website gets their information from the “Gun Violence Archive” another website which on the surface sounds honest, but again, they also count perpetrators as gun violence victims to pump up their numbers. Did you hear the recent mass shooting number for 2019 as 251?  Yeah, they got that from them.  We’ve debunked the Gun Violence Archive’s mass shooting numbers before (and I’ll be doing it again soon).  Click here to read more on that.

It should have come as no surprise to me that one of the latest “gun violence victims” listed on the Gun Memorial site is 24 year old Connor Betts, the mass murderer who killed 9 and injured 27 when he opened fire at popular nightlife area of Dayton, OH this past weekend.  Betts was killed within minutes by police – with a firearm – and because the officer used a firearm, Betts is now another stat, another “gun violence” victim that the anti-gun left is using to push their agenda.  This particular scenario is especially disgusting as they are also using the real victims as well to push for all sorts of gun control, including dangerous “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Order laws.  

Gun Memorial Website Honors Dayton, OH Mass Shooter As Gun Violence Victim Connor Betts

But honestly, it did come as a surprise to even me that this anti-gun group is so hell bent on twisting their numbers to fit their narrative that they would memorialize this particular evil perpetrator.  At the time of this writing, three people have already lit a candle for Betts.  And I must ask the question: does memorializing mass shooters lead to more mass shooters?  

The Denver Westword often uses this same website to validate their stories about gun ownership and/or violence.  And they should be ashamed.

I wrote last year about the memorializing of a 60 year old man who was killed in self defense by a 23 year old woman while he was bashing her head into the guardrail during a Washington road rage incident.  In that instance, eventually the push back to the “Gun Memorial” site was so massive they removed him.  Good.  They should remove Connor Betts too.  In fact, they should remove anyone who was justifiably killed by firearm.  Guns also save lives.  They did for that young woman in Washington, and they did this past weekend in Dayton, OH.

Questions Everyone Should Be Asking About Red Flag Emergency Risk Protection Gun Laws

Questions Everyone Should Be Asking About Red Flag Emergency Risk Protection ERPO Gun Laws : Rally for our Rights Colorado

If you’re not familiar with Red Flag Laws, also known as Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPO),  you’re not paying enough attention.  And if you know what Red Flag Laws are and support them, you’re probably also not paying enough attention.

Red Flag Laws allow an intimate partner, former intimate partner, or family member to make a report to the courts with claims that an individual is going to either hurt themselves or others with a firearm.  Within 24 hours the court hears a preponderance of evidence and issues an order to have the persons gun confiscated.

To some people, this sounds good on the surface.  I mean, who doesn’t want to save lives?  But feel good laws like these do more harm than good, and this one is no exception.  In fact, it may be one of the worst.   These laws lack due process, they grossly violate our right to keep and bear arms, and they would have a chilling effect on free speech.  Not to mention they would prevent people who truly need help from seeking it – especially those who are suicidal.

There are many questions we should be asking.  Here are some that I’ve developed after reading through the language in these proposed bills in many states.

• How can lawmakers ensure a stalker or domestic abuser is prevented from using an ERPO to disarm their victims, potentially putting those in our society who need protection the most in harms way?

• Are there safeguards in place to prevent this from being used as a form of retaliation or as a hate crime – for example being used to disarm a transgender person, a person of color, or a certain religion?

• Why is all information such as accusers, allegations, accusations, etc sealed and require a court order for release?

• Many of these ERPO’s allow the accuser to report via telephone, as well as attend the initial hearing via telephone – making these easier to obtain than a Temporary Protection Order, opening the door to rampant abuse.

• What kind of proof is required that the accuser is or has been in an intimate relationship with the accused, or is a family member?

• What kind of punishment would be in a Red Flag Bill for false accusers?

• Will requiring police to confiscate the guns of people who could be innocent, put law enforcement officers in harms way?

• When these confiscation orders are being carried out, quite likely against someone who is innocent, will that put families and children at risk?

• Why are these laws being promoted as “mental health” laws when in fact they have no mental health components?

• Because the accused who would have their firearms confiscated has not been accused of a crime, they would not be eligible for a public defender to get their firearms back, leaving the poor in our society at a disadvantage.

Do you have other questions that I have missed?  Drop them in the comments.  

Here is how these laws would work:

Step 1: A petitioner (either a current or former intimate partner, or a family member, with no proof required) makes a report via telephone or in person that you have firearms, have bought firearms, or have bought ammunition – and that they have heard you make a threat that you may harm another or yourself.

Step 2: A court hearing is scheduled within 24 hours either over the phone or in person with the petitioner to determine if an Emergency Risk Protection Order (aka Red Flag Order) should be issued.  The one most important person notably missing from this hearing is YOU.  You are not even so much as informed that this hearing is taking place.  During this hearing the judge will hear a “preponderance of evidence” from the petitioner, and only the petitioner, with the goal to convince the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true.

Step 3: An Emergency Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is issued.  The sheriff’s department will visit your home and demand you turn over your firearms, and if you refuse to comply, they will be confiscated by force (placing everyone present in a dangerous situation).  YOU will be left alone, without what may be your most important means of self defense – your firearm – because someone just had it confiscated.  It doesn’t matter if you bought that firearm to protect yourself from a stalker, an abuser, or simply to walk home from work late at night. It also doesn’t matter if the person who requested your firearms be confiscated is that same abuser or stalker.

Step 4: Then, and only then, will you be given instructions as to how to defend yourself in court and get your firearms back.

You can read more about Colorado’s 2018 version of the Red Flag Bill here.  A new bill has not yet been introduced for the 2019 legislative session, but it undoubtedly will be.

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