Craig resident proposes ordinance requiring heads of household to own rifles

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Reader poll

How do you feel about a Craig resident's proposal of an ordinance to require heads of household in Craig to own rifles?

  • I support it. 32%
  • I disagree with it. 55%
  • I like the message he’s trying to send to the state Legislature but think an ordinance is the wrong way to go about it. 13%

278 total votes.

— Craig resident Craig Rummel appeared before the Craig City Council on Tuesday night with a unique proposal.

Citing years of attacks by the Colorado General Assembly on the industries that drive Craig and Moffat County’s economy — namely coal, power and hunting — Rummel asked City Council members to consider passing an ordinance requiring heads of household within Craig city limits to maintain a modern sporting rifle capable of accepting high-capacity magazines.

A draft of Rummel’s proposal included exemptions for those who are not physically or mentally capable of operating a firearm, are financially unable to afford purchasing a firearm, have been convicted of a felony, or oppose owning a firearm for religious or other personal reasons.

The immediate question on the minds of council members was how such a law would be enforced.

Rummel said he did not draft the ordinance to be enforced but to send a message to the state and nation.

“Coal, the power plant and hunting pretty well sums up what we offer here in Craig, America,” Rummel said. “For too long, the state legislature has been hammering us, and they’re destroying our economy. Our voices are not being heard, but if we pass an ordinance, it will go viral, and then they’ll be forced to listen to us.”

Despite their collective agreement with Rummel’s intended message, council members mostly were unified in their desire not to abuse the power of their office by passing an ordinance for the sole purpose of sending a message.

Council member Ray Beck questioned why the same message couldn’t be sent in the form of a resolution, which is more of a statement of belief than an enforceable law.

Rummel cited the Moffat County Commission’s recent trip to Denver to testify against Senate Bill 13-252, which would increase renewable energy mandates on rural electricity cooperatives from 10 to 25 percent by 2020.

“We have tried the traditional routes, and we have good representation at the state in Sen. (Randy) Baumgardner and Rep. (Bob) Rankin, but the Western Slope doesn’t have the votes in Denver,” Rummel said. “We need to think outside of the box and let the rest of the country know we are not in lockstep with Denver.”

City Council member Tony Bohrer, who also manages Elkhorn Outfitters in Craig, agreed with Rummel, saying this year’s passage of gun control laws in the state is fueling a boycott of Colorado by out-of-state hunters.

“We’re not going to be affected this year, and we’re large enough that we may never be affected, but the smaller outfitters that don’t have the marketing budget are going to feel the effects (of gun control legislation) three or four years down the road,” Bohrer said. “I’m all for an ordinance because at the end of the day there’s still going to be 20,000 head of elk at Black Mountain, and this would give me another thing to use to promote Craig.”

Bohrer was the only council member who voiced outright support for Rummel’s proposal. Fellow council member Don Jones, on the other hand, questioned whether the city was prepared for the kind of media attention Rummel was after.

“The state of Colorado is the laughingstock of the country,” Jones said. “We’ve passed an amendment legalizing marijuana that violates federal law, and we’ve passed gun laws that violate the Second Amendment. I don’t think passing an ordinance requiring all residents to own an AK-47 is the type of attention Craig wants.”

But Rummel said council needed to step back from the emotional side of the debate.

“This is about more than just guns, this is about protecting our economy,” Rummel said. “This is an opportunity for us to protect and defend our economy, culture and heritage of Northwest Colorado.”

The council did not take action on Rummel’s proposal, but it didn’t close the door on the idea, either.

“There is enough support up here of what you are saying, and I think there’s room for you to convince us,” Craig Mayor Terry Carwile said. “The bottom line is we don’t need to make a decision tonight, but you have some work to do.”

Joe Moylan can be reached at 970-875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com

Comments

John St Pierre 1 year, 6 months ago

Does he own a gun shop?? Nothing like bringing back the good 'ole days of Dodge city.... Has there been a recent increase in violent crime in Craig???

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jerry carlton 1 year, 6 months ago

Government has no right to tell you you have to own a gun just as it has no right to tell you that you have to buy health insurance. Does obama and Congress own an insurance company? No, the insurance companies, oil companies, companies ad nauseum own obama and Congress.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

A draft of Rummel’s proposal included exemptions for those who are not physically or mentally capable of operating a firearm, are financially unable to afford purchasing a firearm, have been convicted of a felony, or oppose owning a firearm for religious or other personal reasons.

So, in other words, pass a law saying it is mandatory for everyone except for those that don't want to do that. And then hope there isn't a local civil rights advocate that openly states their refusal to own a gun, but refuses to say they oppose owning a gun for religious or personal reasons. And so takes the law to court for it to be thrown out and causes the City of Craig to be obligated to spend money on a lawyer defending the law.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 6 months ago

Bad idea. This would just create another list with gun owners names and addresses so when the time comes Obama could send his DHS goon force into Craig.

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rhys jones 1 year, 6 months ago

Hell, let's just make bongs mandatory, at least one per household. The Cool Cops could come around periodically to insure its regular use -- don't worry, they'll bring tunes.

In Arizona, it is illegal to refuse someone a drink of water who requests it. We could do the same thing with our recently-legal pot: Knock-knock: "Please sir, I was just passing by, and I sure could use a hit of kind bud."

Everybody would get along, and it'd be SO COOL.

To quote Charlie Daniels: I don't need much of nuthin at all, but I will take another toke.

Ditch the guns and have some fun!!

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe Craig could declare itself a gun sanctuary city, like some cities have done for illegal immigrants, and state the local police will not enforce any gun laws. So anyone from those that have bench warrants to then mentally ill and felons are allowed to buy or own guns n Craig. And even better, that anyone is allowed to open or concealed carry within Craig City limits. And even better, that City of Craig won't cooperate with ATF on firearms control and so city government won't enforce laws against fully automatic weapons or sawed off shotguns. Thus, City of Craig could stand fully for the Second Amendment and that City police will allow anyone to open or concealed carry any weapon.

I think that would most clearly not only make the intended point and have the benefit of making city government policy be in line with that point.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Another example of people who THINK they are on the side of freedom, but in reality, wouldn't know what real freedom was if it smacked them square in the mouth.

The fact that this guy, along with local lawmakers, even THINK they have somehow have the authority to require any sort of thing is absurd.

And to Rhys's point about mandatory bongs and all the "peace and love" that would bring... didn't work so well down in Denver on 4-20, did it?

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 6 months ago

Mike, re: gun lists, I think you underestimate your nation's fear of domestic terrorism: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324478304578171623040640006.html

I have a hard time believing such an agency is playing by any rules you or I might understand.

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