We’ve seen it in New Mexico already, and now we’re seeing it in Colorado. Local counties are declaring themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries and refusing to enforce statewide gun laws that violate due process and make a joke out of the Constitution. In remarks to CNN this week, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said that even if the Colorado legislature passes a new “red flag” bill, he won’t have his deputies enforce the law.
“It’s a matter of doing what’s right,” he told the network.
The bill will almost certainly pass, unfortunately. Last week, the gun bill passed the state Senate, and it will almost certainly pass the House and be on the governor’s desk by the end of the week. If enacted into law, it would give deputies and even random private citizens the right to argue that someone’s guns should be taken away from them because they pose a danger to themselves or others. As long as they can prove that assertion with “a preponderance of the evidence” – meaning, a much lower burden of proof than “beyond a reasonable doubt” – cops will be expected to take the individual’s guns for as long as a year.
Proponents of the law say that quick, decisive action such as this can keep dangerous individuals from harming others. Critics say it is a mockery of the Second Amendment and could even inspire greater violence than what is theoretically being avoided. They point to a 2018 case in Baltimore where a man “became irate” when police showed up at his door with an order to give up his weapons. Ultimately, police in that case were forced to kill the individual in a standoff.
“Going in and taking their guns and leaving the scene – I can’t see how that makes them less of a risk,” Reams mused. “It just takes one tool away.”
But for liberal Democrats, taking away that one tool is all that matters.
“The gun ban lobbies are getting more and more extreme and aggressive,” lamented constitutional law expert David Kopel.
Reams and Weld County are not the only ones who have opposed the bill. More than half of Colorado’s 64 counties have come out in official opposition to the legislation, and a handful have gone as far as to declare themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in defiance of what very well could soon be law.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser released a statement saying that he is “confident that when and if the time comes, all law enforcement officials will follow the rule of law.”
Perhaps, but following the rule of law in this case may mean something different to sheriffs who believe this is a matter of constitutional overreach. For his part, Sheriff Reams says that if Democrats expect him to go with the flow, they’ve got another think coming.
“I’ve explained that time and time again,” he said. “I’m not bluffing.”