A Colorado County Sheriff has said he will not enforce new state gun measures that are expected to be signed into law. Weld county Sheriff John Cooke says the proposed firearms restrictions give a ‘false sense of security.’
On Friday, lawmakers in Colorado approved sweeping changed when it came to background checks on firearm purchases. A 15-round limit on ammunition magazines has also been approved.
The bills now head to the desk of Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper who has said he will sign into law. The state has suffered two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, but after months of debate both chambers of the majority Democratic Colorado legislature approved a package of four gun-control measures on Friday.
The passage of the bills could push Colorado to the forefront of a national gun control debate reignited by several mass shootings last year, including the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.
President Barack Obama has put forward a number of gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.
Cooke told GreeleyTribune.com that Democrats in the state legislature are uninformed and scrambling in response to the Aurora movie theater shooting and other recent tragedies.
‘They’re feel-good, knee-jerk reactions that are unenforceable,’ he said.
The bill that passed on Friday requires a $10 criminal background check to take place before legally transferring a gun.
Cooke says the proposed firearms transfer requirement would not keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
The sheriff says that he and other sheriffs ‘won’t bother enforcing’ the laws because it won’t be possible to keep track of how gun owners are complying with the new requirements.
Republicans have opposed the bill, calling it an undue burden on law-abiding gun owners.
Cooke is joined in his opposition by a number of other Sheriff’s including the El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.
Maketa said his office keeps records of every concealed carry permit holder in the county as required by law, but he would never share it.
He said he would destroy the database if anyone tried to get their hands on it and would intervene if government agents started arresting county residents for exercising their constitutional rights.