Gun owner Bob Reese fires his Glock .45-caliber pistol at the Routt County Rifle Club on Tuesday afternoon. Routt and Moffat county sheriffs said they will not enforce gun-control measures expected to be signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper today.

Photo by John F. Russell

Gun owner Bob Reese fires his Glock .45-caliber pistol at the Routt County Rifle Club on Tuesday afternoon. Routt and Moffat county sheriffs said they will not enforce gun-control measures expected to be signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper today.

Routt and Moffat county sheriffs say they won't, and can't, enforce new Colorado gun laws

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Reader poll

Do you agree with Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins that new gun legislation is unenforceable?

  • Yes 69%
  • No 30%
  • I don't know enough about the new laws. 1%

411 total votes.

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Gun owner Bob Reese fires his AR-15 rifle, which uses a 30-round clip, at the Routt County Rifle Club on Tuesday afternoon. New legislation in Colorado expected to be signed into law Wednesday would limit new gun magazines to a maximum of 15 rounds.

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Garrett Wiggins

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Tim Jantz

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Randy Baumgardner

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Diane Mitsch Bush

— Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins and Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said they will join Weld County Sheriff John Cooke and not enforce gun-control measures expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday.

Wiggins and Jantz maintain the legislation passed by Colorado's House and Senate won't keep guns out of the hands of criminals and instead will punish law-abiding citizens. Both sheriffs said Tuesday that gun control has been the No. 1 concern of their constituents in recent months, and that every email, phone call and comment they have heard is from residents who oppose gun control legislation.

“I can’t even walk out of the gym in the morning without people talking to me about it,” Wiggins said.

Hickenlooper is expected to sign at least two new guns laws Wednesday. One requires universal background checks, include private-sale purchases. The other limits ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, though existing high-capacity magazines would be grandfathered in. A third bill enacting fees for background checks also has been sent to Hickenlooper to sign into law.

Wiggins has taken an active role in his opposition to the measures, including trips to Denver to join other Colorado sheriffs in testifying against gun control legislation at the state Capitol.

“I’ve been there for the majority of the opportunities to testify,” Wiggins said. “Sheriffs are looked upon by constituents to step up and support Second Amendment rights.”

Wiggins said he used his county-owned vehicle to drive to Denver and that county taxpayers paid for one night’s stay in a hotel.

At his office Tuesday, Wiggins took out the clip from his gun to illustrate why he said the new law limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds would be impossible for his deputies to enforce. Wiggins said older magazines would be grandfathered in, and magazines do not contain dates for when they were made.

“There is absolutely no way for us to determine when you purchased that magazine,” Wiggins said.

Colorado Democrats who support the gun-control measures have said they do not infringe upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms but rather take steps to keep Coloradans safer. Both sides claim the majority of residents are on their side.

Jantz said there is nothing that can compel him and other sheriffs in Colorado to enforce laws they consider unenforceable. He said it is not what they agreed to when they took their oath of office.

“It doesn’t say I need to enforce every statute,” Jantz said.

That also is the belief of District 8 state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Cowdrey.

"Each county sheriff has to make a decision about how to prioritize and enforce the laws in the county they were elected to serve," Baumgardner said in an email Tuesday. "I voted against the Democrat gun control package because I believe the proposals are unconstitutional and make law-abiding persons criminals and do nothing to improve public safety."

The Democratic legislator who sponsored the universal backgrounds check bill told The Denver Post this week that sheriffs who are unwilling or unable to fulfill the duties of their position should step down.

"They are putting politics above their job," said Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora.

However, legal experts told the Post it's the prerogative of law enforcement officers to prioritize how laws are enforced. Because most county sheriffs in Colorado are elected, the voters will determine their fates.

House District 26 Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, was not immediately available for comment Tuesday. On her website, Mitsch Bush explained why she supported the bill limiting high-capacity magazines.

“Many of the mass shooters in the past few years have used 30-round, 52-round, and 100-round magazines. In at least two instances, bystanders were able to tackle or shoot the criminal, mass shooter when he was changing magazines. That one to two second period saved lives.”

At the national level, The Associated Press reported that an assault weapons ban would not be part of gun-control legislation that Democrats will bring to the U.S. Senate next month.

“In a tactical decision, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., concluded that including the prohibition in the gun bill would jeopardize the chances for passage of any firearms legislation at all, taking away votes that would be needed to overcome Republican attempts to block the Senate from even taking up the issue,” the AP reported.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

John St Pierre 1 year, 6 months ago

so now we pick and chose the laws we will enforce in defiance of the oath of office they took??????

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Barry Hirsh 1 year, 6 months ago

Their oath is to the Constitution(s), state and federal, not to the government or any law or set of laws below that level.

Any law that violates the Constitution(s) is facially invalid.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

Only a court can make that finding. Until then, there is no factual basis to call this legislation unconstitutional, it's just an opinion.

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Jacob Weber 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually, if you look at the civil rights movement of the 1960's, it was ordinary citizens who stood up, and said that they would not abide by obviously unconstitutional laws. Its a matter of citizen conscience to ignore these unconstitutional laws, especially when they directly attack a fundamental right that is the 2nd amendment. The socialists have used this for decades to push agenda's and now that there is a push back, they are saying that we have to abide by the courts (which they mostly control).

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, we pick and choose. Just like the marijuana laws.

Oath of office? Did it bother you, Mr St. Pierre, that the President forgot HIS oath of office vis a vis the second ammendment?

It seems to me that law-makers and law-enforcers are only doing much the same thing that the electorate does... picking and choosing what they call right, and what they call wrong. If it comforms to their pollitical leaning they dont give a tinkers dam whether it lines up with their "Oath-of-Office".

They justify their meandering positions as shamelessly as the rest of you.

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John St Pierre 1 year, 6 months ago

With all respect you should read the entire constitution... the President does not make the law's; Congress elected by the people, makes the laws... Marijuana laws were changed by the will of the people. A democracy (as many forget) is ruled by the majority... wether you agree with it or not. Your recourse is the ballot box

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

The president certainly has made laws, via executive order. Not that he respects or follows the constitution anyway. Further, we don't live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic with somewhat democratically elected officials. A democracy is mob rule, 2 wolves and a lamb deciding what's for lunch. A democracy is not, contrary to popular belief, a civilized society. That's why we have a constitution. We, the people, have rights that the government must recognize and have no authority to violate. Laws must not conflict with the constitution, or they are invalid, and it does not take a Supreme Court ruling to decipher what the constitution says. It is written in plain language so a reasonably educated person can read and understand it.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

"It is written in plain language so a reasonably educated person can read and understand it."

Exactly! What part of "well regulated Militia" leads anyone to believe that this is an individual, rather than a collective, right? Particularly since the Constitution says we shouldn't have standing armies in peacetime -- once we started doing that, plus the National Guard, there was no more need for "well-regulated Militia" and I don't see how the 2nd amendment has anything to do with, say, my turkey gun.

http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/bogus2.htm

The real history of what the Founders meant by "militia" is actually quite ugly. You can't take the wording and apply modern definitions to it, and call it "plain language" when it's this murky.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

"Oath of office? Did it bother you, Mr St. Pierre, that the President forgot HIS oath of office vis a vis the second ammendment? "

This would only be possible if I believed the 2nd amendment was different from all other amendments by establishing an absolute right. Excluding yelling "fire" in a crowded theater (when there's no fire) from the definition of free speech, is no different from restricting magazine capacity. The right to free speech still exists, as does the right to bear arms. While I'd agree that Obama violates his oath of office all the time vis-a-vis the 1st, 4th, 5th, 14th, and other amendments, I don't see how the 2nd makes that list.

Sawing off your shotgun barrel has long been illegal in Colorado. Will our local Sheriffs stop enforcing this, I wonder, based on their seemingly-likely opinion that the 2nd Amendment is absolute, therefore this must be unconstitutional? What about existing magazine limits for hunting, like 3 shells max for turkeys? Are our game wardens free to pocket-veto enforcement if in their opinion, it's unconstitutional?

"It seems to me that law-makers and law-enforcers are only doing much the same thing that the electorate does... picking and choosing what they call right, and what they call wrong. If it comforms to their pollitical leaning they dont give a tinkers dam whether it lines up with their 'Oath-of-Office'."

That, I'll agree with you on. I enjoy the show "Deadwood" for its depiction of a town where order was maintained in the absence of law, because that's what America is devolving into nowadays -- we now base our views on outcomes, while ignoring egregious process violations, and accepting blatant and glaring inequities. Just like Bullock, Swearengen, etc.

We see this everywhere, now. Obama orders American citizens executed with no due process, the country cheers because al-Awlaki was a "bad guy" and his kid shoulda picked a better Father; oblivious to or callously disregarding the fact that if the 5th & 8th Amendments no longer apply to the likes of citizens Padilla, Manning, or al-Awlaki, then they no longer apply to ANY OF US. (continued)

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Jacob Weber 1 year, 6 months ago

The founding fathers are rolling in their graves when they see what we have done to restrict guns. ALL small arms should be legal. Even soldiers and sailors on occasion, used versions of sawed off shotguns on ships prior to 1900 to defend against boarders. Our 2nd amendment has little to do with hunting, but rather citizens having the abilty to defend against tyranny from legislators, presidents, courts, or foreign invaders alike, from destroying basic freedoms like "life, liberty and pursuit of happyness". While some attribute this statement to Thomas Jefferson, it was still largely the sentiment of all the founding fathers, who said to the effect "when government fears the citizens, there is liberty, when the citizens fear the government, that is TYRANNY".

Both parties have gotten to the point of violating the constitution while grabbing power. In the past 100 years, its been mostly the social progressives who gravitated to the Democrat party. Sadly they have gotten exactly what they want. An illiterate majority of citizens who dont know anything about history, nor the constitution, who are are more interested in freebees from the government than the fact that they are giving power to people who ultimately will enslave them to that government.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

This is the rule of men, not the rule of law. Likewise, society approves of the constant string of FBI "sting" terror convictions, regardless of how bogus they are -- does the following not stand our whole notion of "Rule of Law" on its head?

"This preventive approach, Cote said, means that 'just as there are people in prison who never committed the crime, this may also happen . . . .He argued that it was 'absolutely' better to run the risk of convicting an innocent man than to let a guilty one go. 'Too many lives are changed' by terrorism, he said. 'So shall one man pay to save fifty? It's not a debatable question."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/19/preemptive-prosecution-muslims-cointelpro

Wait, what? How does incarcerating one innocent man save anyone from anything, let alone the lives of the next 50? I will grant that it may give 50 million people a false sense of security, and therefore have excellent propaganda value. Absurd, and exactly the opposite of the ideals behind our Constitution, which date back at least to the Magna Carta.

Then we have abuses of the First Amendment, where the government now acts as enforcers of corporate monopolies:

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/03/18/att-hacker-sentenced-to-prison-for-revealing-security-flaw-digital-rights-organization-joins-appeal/ http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/03/17/nsa-whistleblower-thomas-drake-on-the-us-secrecy-state-as-predator-of-the-first-amendment/

This travesty of justice will get full public support, of course, because "hackers are bad" and Congress' reaction to this sort of thing is to immunize corporations from liability for their "goatse tight" security, when penalties for such negligent behavior (NYTimes logins compromised by rainbow-table attack against unsalted, MD5-hashed password files screams script-kiddies to me, not "sophisticated" Chinese military hackers) would actually provide an incentive for corporations to take protecting their users' (our) privacy seriously -- as the law currently requires, but which is not enforced by the DoJ (just as enforcement of the Sherman Act has become a quaint notion, despite its being needed now more than ever).

Looking at the carnage that's been made of the Bill of Rights in 21st-century America, I see my First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights either obliterated completely (ubiquitous warrantless wiretapping of all of our electronic communications, in this day and age), or hanging by a thread.

The one thing I'm not worried about, despite NRA fearmongering, is my 2nd Amendment rights. I don't see magazine capacity limits, background checks, or fees for those checks as violating the 2nd Amendment. In fact, it all sounds right in line with the "well-regulated" part, and far less egregious than the systematic dismantling of our other rights in favor of a corporate police state.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

Or, consider the 14th Amendment: "No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." A guy I grew up with in Ft. Collins pulled a real-estate scam involving a single piece of property; add some flimsy RICO predicates, he's facing 30 years in federal lockup.

Meanwhile, bankers at the big banks can conspire to defraud the public, the treasury, their own customers, AIG and more, while knowingly and deliberately laundering money for terrorists and drug cartels. When caught, without admitting wrongdoing, they're fined a tiny percentage of their ill-gotten profits and allowed to pay this with -- you guessed it -- bailout money from the taxpayers, or stick their shareholders with it.

Even though I never liked the guy with the RICO charges in Ft. Collins, I can't help but think that "equal justice under the law" has become a relic of the past, and his prosecution the furthest thing from equal or fair given the far larger white-collar crimes we deliberately let slide. "Too big to fail, too big to jail" is yet another example of a perversion of our system to the point where the inequities are so blatant and glaring as to discredit and deligitimize the entire justice system.

Seriously, now...

If the rich bankers are allowed to commit unlimited fraud to get ahead, why shouldn't my homie, or any of us, be allowed to do this also? It would level the playing field, and re-introduce competition to our "capitalist" society. Instead, if the only way to compete with the state-sanctioned criminals is to commit similar crimes, prosecuting only those unsanctioned criminals amounts to the state enforcing the sanctioned criminal monopolies.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

No one is expecting that Wiggins will go around and inspect everyone's gun magazine. But if a local gun store is selling new 30 round magazines then he would be expected to tell them to stop.

A sheriff is expected to just be a professional law enforcement officer where not every law is a top priority, but blatant violations of state law are not ignored either.

Just like it is fine to not tightly enforce marijuana possession laws, but no one is saying to ignore the drug dealer pulled over with 50 pounds of mj in the trunk or putting up fliers saying come to his house to buy pot.

Oh well, Wiggins just put personal politics over his sworn oath of office. A pretty stupid move in predominately Democratic Routt County and considering he ran as being a professional trustworthy law enforcement officer and not as a rightwing ideologue.

Just made it very easy for the eventual Democratic candidate for sheriff to defeat him in the 2014 election.

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Joe Meglen 1 year, 6 months ago

When taking office Sheriff Wiggins gave his sacred oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. He did not take an oath to enforce politically motivated unenforceable laws passed by politicians that betray their sacred oath when voting for unconstitutional gun legislation. Sheriff Wiggins is a man of his word and he deserves to be re-elected during the next election cycle. It is the the political animals that voted in lock step with their party's demand for gun control, in violation of not only the Constitution but the overwhelming wishes of Colorado residents, that need to be tossed out in the next election, if not sooner.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

"When taking office Sheriff Wiggins gave his sacred oath to uphold and defend the Constitution."

Exactly! Which doesn't extend to interpreting what is and isn't constitutional -- that's the prerogative of the Judicial Branch, not the Executive. While the Sheriff is an officer of the court, his position is technically Executive, not Judicial -- he's in Law Enforcement, not Interpretation. If a court declares a law unconstitutional, then the Sheriff is upholding his oath by not enforcing it. When no court has declared a law unconstitutional, the Sheriff is violating his oath by not enforcing it.

"He did not take an oath to enforce politically motivated unenforceable laws passed by politicians that betray their sacred oath when voting for unconstitutional gun legislation."

Sorry, but who is he to make that determination? I agree with Wedel, as a professional it's his duty to enforce a weak law to the best extent possible -- not look the other way at a clear violation based on an opinion as to the constitutionality of the whole thing, rather than an actual inability to enforce the law in a particular situation.

"Sheriff Wiggins is a man of his word and he deserves to be re-elected during the next election cycle. It is the the political animals that voted in lock step with their party's demand for gun control, in violation of not only the Constitution but the overwhelming wishes of Colorado residents, that need to be tossed out in the next election, if not sooner."

Exactly! It's the voters' job to deal with this if they don't like it. Or, the courts...

http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/bogus2.htm

...and where the courts stand on this is hardly congruous with the Sheriff's opinion. Which he's more than entitled to, but the fundamental misunderstanding of his position on display here means I won't be voting for him a third time. The job description of Sheriff doesn't include arbiter of legislative constitutionality.

AFAIC, it shouldn't matter what one's opinion is of the underlying issue, to be able to recognize that rogue Sheriffs aren't the solution, nor do they in any way help matters by politicizing their offices. We have an established (if flawed) political system for dealing with legislation and legislators we don't like, and it in no way includes Sheriffs donning Judge's robes to override the Governor by wielding veto power over the Legislature -- this is neither separation of powers, nor an established check-and-balance under the constitution.

It's political overreach, not a quality I vote for in a Sheriff regardless of party affiliation (I have none).

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 6 months ago

I am ashmed at what I am hearing from the police dept. What makes them think that they are above voters decisions. This is not an anarchy society. How can comment s like this not be grounds for termination. The police work for us (the public community) they are not above anyone and need to start showing signs of respect for those who pay there salary. I know who I'm not voting back in. I am not against fire arms but do know that some kind of change has to be made no matter how little it is. People who talk this way about deadly weapons shouldnt own them and about our rights and the constitution?? As education, knowledge and experience grow so should common sense changes. I believe our constitution should be looked at this way as well instead of the common saying (" it's my right, it's whats in the constitution). Did we just learn how to create fire or is this actually 2013?? I believe we have to earn our rights they are not just given to us.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

Earn our rights? Then that would not be rights at all, that would be privileges. What would one have to do to earn the right against unlawful search and seizure? Or earn the right to peaceable assembly. I don't really think that's the world you really want to live in.

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Michael Iadaresta 1 year, 6 months ago

The first oath taken is to support and defend the U S Constitution!!

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 6 months ago

I think you missunderstood my point Renee. I do stand by and defend our constitution as I hope any american would. Unfortunately our Bill Of Rights get thrown around in ways that sometimes dont merrit the times that we live in now. I believe that certain rights should have stipulations on them. (Example) The right to bear arms, the right to free speech. These are great rights but are dangerous rights and there should be some sort of ethical respect and accountability twords them. Regardless of the matter, the police dept. have a job to do by upholding the law, not creating there own. If they dont like the cards that have been dealt to them then they should fold and step down.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

I, in keeping with our founders' intent, believe our Bill of Rights were meant to be unfettered, unrestricted. To clarify, I don't believe in background checks, restrictions on what I can own, who I give access to my personal property, no gun restrictions whatsoever, under any circumstance. I have the right to keep and bear whatever our government has, period. The second amendment is to guard against tyranny, whether by criminals or government.

Second, the time we live in now has no bearing on our rights. Human nature does not change, governments do. I have the right to say whatever I want, wherever I want, to whomever I want. I am reasonably well educated, know right from wrong, and don't want a government intruding in on my conversations monitoring my behavior. I am an adult, I take responsibility for my actions, and I have hurt people's feelings. And I am not a criminal, don't arbitrarily make me one.

Further, laws that are unconstitutional, and these bills are unconstitutional, are not valid laws and should not be enforced. If they are enforced, they would be violating their oath of office to uphold the constitution. The sheriffs and police are caught in the famous Catch 22, once again. State law does not trump the constitution. These laws conflict with both the state and US Constitutions. Which prevails in the case of a conflict? Constitutional law.

If you want to live in a police state, monitoring everything you do, unarmed, and dependent on the state for protection, move to Cuba. Otherwise, be self reliant and stop expecting the state to regulate all of our affairs.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

"I, in keeping with our founders' intent, believe our Bill of Rights were meant to be unfettered, unrestricted."

How do you arrive at that intent for the founders? The Bill of Rights is all about fettering and restricting rights. We have a right to be secure in our homes and effects, except when a warrant is issued based on probable cause. We have a right not to be deprived of life or liberty, except under due process of law. There's no right to assembly, only peacable assembly. There's no right to libel or slander.

The Second Amendment could be interpreted that, as a well-regulated militia is no longer necessary to the preservation of a free state (standing military, national guard serve this purpose), the right to bear arms may be infringed.

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Barry Hirsh 1 year, 6 months ago

What you believe is immaterial. What is real is that fundamental rights can only be affected pursuant to a compelling government interest that has certainty as to accomplishing the stated purpose, and be instituted in the least intrusive manner possible.

Broad curtailments are REMOVED from public opinion and the democratic process, deliberately.

The categorization of rights, privileges and mere amenities is clear, and your perception of what is proper is unfocused and skewed.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

I vote, and I'm actively participating in the process to right these wrongs. Please don't think that I'm not aware of the level of corruption in our government. I am painfully aware.

This country was founded by farmers and shopkeepers. Not a trained, professional army. Some had served in the British army, but most had not. I find that inspirational. If you've given up, shame on you. Shame on all of us for sleeping so soundly since the early 20th century. We've not kept our eye on government affairs, shame on us.

We have a fight on our hands. I, and many others, want our constitutional republic back. If I wanted to live in a socialist nation, I would have moved to England and became a subject.

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 6 months ago

My satements are JMHO..(~: but doesnt law enforcment have to legaly follow any new law put into effect or am I mssing something.??

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

Not if it conflicts with the State or US Constitution. Constitutional law prevails.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

Our Sheriff's statement is simply personal opinion, not legal opinion. Didn't realize Wiggins was a constitutional scholar...

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Jacob Weber 1 year, 6 months ago

With all due respect, you dont have to be a "constitutional scholar" to see an unconstitutional law. The constitution was not made for lawyers to exploit, but for citizens to defend their rights from that government. American's have a long history of ignoring laws that they saw as illegal. "Boston tea party" is just one of a million examples. The civil rights movements from 1850's to today would not had happened if citizens simply "followed the law and the courts".

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Barry Hirsh 1 year, 6 months ago

No. Their oath is to the Constitution(s), state and federal.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

But the constitution only gives authority to judge constitutionality of laws to the judicial branch, so I don't see how a Sheriff declaring a law unconstitutional is in any way following his oath.

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cindy constantine 1 year, 6 months ago

It will be very inconvenient for local residents to get a background check in Steamboat Springs when they want to sell their firearm to a relative or neighbor. Elk River Guns has a FEDERAL Firearms license--Federal being the key word so is not regulated by state law. I guess when Granddad wants to give his shotgun to his 20 year old grandson they will be making a trip to Denver to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to get their background check completed---makes a lot of sense to me. NOT!!

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Cindy,

It appears that local law enforcement is expected to offer to make the same background check as a gun store.

A federally licensed gun shop is most definitely subject to BOTH federal and state regulation. If you doubt this then advertise that you intend to ignore newly signed state law and will continue to sell large capacity magazines after the law takes effect.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Always interesting to see what gets people exercised. I'll wager gun control may be second only to abortion when it comes to pushing peoples' hot buttons.

As for the righteous indignation about the sheriffs' decision not to enforce the impending law, I'll pay a little more attention when people are equally upset about the administration's refusal to enforce existing laws on all manner of regulation. Immigration, controlled substances, DOMA... when you thump your chest just as self-righteously that mj dispensaries haven't been shut down as required by law, I'll take you a bit more seriously. Until then, you're just a hypocrite.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

Neither of these issues are covered by the US Constitution, so they are to be handled by the state according to the 10th Amendment.

Just because laws are passed, does not mean they are in line with the Constitution or are Constitutional.

I don't care what people want to smoke, I don't partake in recreational drug use. Not because its illegal, but because I don't like losing control.

Immigration needs to be handled by the states, period. Taxpayers in Alaska and Hawaii don't need to pay for boarder patrol or a fence in California. States have the authority and resources to for self protection. They just choose to spend their resources on other things.

The federal government needs to be scaled way back, skeletonized even, and power needs to be returned to the states under the 10th amendment.

And I agree with you. When democrats start questioning the Obama Administration on its domestic use of drones, like they did with the Bush Administration's warrant less wiretapping, I'll take their opinions more seriously to. In the meantime, it's time that constitutional conservatives step up and be heard. That's why I am asserting my opinion wherever I can.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Wiggins & Co join the El Paso & Weld County Sheriffs in refusing to enforce this asinine bill. And those are only the ones who have publicly announced their intent.

Incidentally, I and millions of other Coloradans instantly become criminals when this stupidity is singed by the Gov. The bill outlaws any magazine “...that can be readily converted to accept more than fifteen rounds of ammunition...” Every magazine meets that criterion, by virtue of its removable base plate – a design feature to accommodate cleaning & maintenance. It also means the clip can be “readily converted.” I'm about to become an outlaw. Come and get me, Governor.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

Me too about 40 times over. But wait, are they really mine? And they should be grandfathered in, who knows? Most of all, who cares what I have or don't have? until a violent crime is committed, no one knows or cares what I have unless i take it to the range. And that includes the police.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

The "readily converted" provision is meant to outlaw a larger magazine that physically can hold more rounds, but has an easily bypassed mechanism that allows only 15 rounds to be loaded. Such as tweaking the design of a 30 round magazine to have a stop at 15 rounds and that stop is easy to remove.

A removable base plate would not appear to make it readily convertible. The removable base plate could allow some sort of extension, but that doesn't make the existing magazine illegal, it makes the extension illegal.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

If they want to argue these laws are unconstitutional then go to court and request an injunction.

Did Wiggins receive a legal analysis from the County Attorney stating that these laws are unlikely to be ruled to be constitutional and should not be enforced? Or does Wiggins pull his constitutional legal analysis from his ass?

We have a legal system in which the Supreme Court makes decisions defining what the Constitution precisely means and what laws are unconstitutional and which are constitutional.

The Supreme Court has ruled on what is a constitutional right and at what point the right can be regulated because it infringes upon other rights. The right to free speech is limited to not yelling "Fire" in a movie theater, libel and slander laws, and inciting a fight. The Second Amendment explicitly states that the right to bear arms is to be part of a well regulated militia. So the state can regulate the militia to not be too much of a danger to the general public and thus regulate the scope of weaponry available.

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Barry Hirsh 1 year, 6 months ago

No. The Constitution was written for the people, not the Supreme Court.

While case law rules since Marbury, the Court must interpret the Constitution consistent with the public understanding of the principles therein at the time of its ratification.

In this case, the sheriffs should stick by their guns (so to speak) and force the state to take them to court. By virtue of their oaths to uphold and protect the Constitution, their prerogatives are on solid ground, and their fealty is to the Constitution, not to any legislature, governor or court. Absent clear, narrow precedent, they are not bound by any interpretation of the legislature if such interpretation raises critical, counterintuitive constitutional questions.

The burden should be on the government to prove its actions constitutional, not the other way around.

They serve US, we don't serve THEM.

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Matthew Stoddard 1 year, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, the People can't always agree in interpretations of something written over 200 years ago, that was left very open to interpretation. That's what the Supreme Court is for. I'm surprised someone actually doesn't know that in this day and age. Odd.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm not. We quit teaching Civics in school; assertions that a Sheriff judging the constitutionality of laws is simply following his oath, is just the sort of misunderstanding of what the constitution is which can be expected given this state of affairs.

What the constitution lays out is a system where law enforcement neither makes nor interprets the laws. They enforce the laws duly enacted by the People through the Legislature until a court declares it unconstitutional. Allowing law enforcement to make or interpret laws, is a sign of fascism, not the Liberty we enjoy through our separation of powers, and checks and balances.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

The constitution gives the Judicial Branch the authority to determine the constitutionality of laws. Any Sheriff arrogating this power unto himself is not following anything resembling the separation of powers laid out in the Constitution.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

False argument from the left. The constitution is written in plain language so the reasonably educated can understand it.

What rights infringe on the rights of others? We all have the same rights, period. And I choose not to give any of them up.

Yelling fire in a movie theater is not a valid argument. You can do that, and suffer the consequences associated with it, such as causing mass pandemonium and people getting hurt or dying because of your actions. Rights go hand in hand with responsibility. A reasonable person would not yell fire in a movie theater.

The militia, your last argument, do you know what a militia is? A militia is a group of armed citizens activated by the governor in time of war or invasion. citizens like you and me. You can't be part of a militia if you are not armed well enough to defend your state or county. It's your duty to be armed, as a responsible citizen and be trained in the proper use of firearms and other armament. That is what a well regulated militia is: A citizen army, ready for action.

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james Patterson 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't have a pony in this race. I will continue to own what I own regardless. I do have to question a couple of Renee's comments however. The constitution is not written so any reasonably educated person can understand it. The language used is convoluted and arcane. I recently read it front to back and found myself shaking my head various times. (I have a masters degree and was in the educational field for 35+ yrs, so I asume that meets your definition of reasonably educated.). If the constitution was as clear as you stated, there would be no need for a Supreme Court. I understand you feel you know our founders' motives and the underlying meanings of their writings, but that we disagree on many aspect shows it may not be as clear as you think. Lastly, do you really want any right totally unfettered? It's okay with you if I own a tactical nuke? Is it really okay for me to threaten someone because we have a 1st ammendment? The examples go on and on.
I agree many topics need a national conversation, the purpose of weapons in our society being one of them. However, whenever someone starts a conversation with an absolute, that conversation will fail and our country will continue to divide instead of being united.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Regardless, the Constitution states that the judicial power resides with the Supreme Court, not county sheriffs.

Doesn't matter if the Constitution is considered as easy or difficult to read. The Supreme Court's decisions states how the Constitution is being currently interpreted.

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Barry Hirsh 1 year, 6 months ago

And, until and unless the Court rules, the sheriffs have as much prerogative to exercise their powers according to their own understanding of the Constitution as any other office of government.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

We are not going to agree on this. I'm sorry you don't understand the Constitution. I do. If you have questions about the constitution, refer to the federalist papers. Those are harder to understand than the Constitution. That's why I know it was written in plain language.

The Bill of Rights states what the federal government cannot do to us. And in the case of a conflict between state or federal law and the Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail. Period.

You should have whatever you deem necessary to protect yourself, your family, your property, or your state against tyranny. That's why there is not a limit defined in the constitution.

I support and applaud the courage of the sheriffs in standing against tyranny. And I thank them immensely.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

Ah, yes, standing against the tyranny of the will of the voters expressed through their duly-elected representatives... thank the Lord these Sheriffs are here to protect us from democratic republicanism!

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Joe Meglen 1 year, 6 months ago

You don't need a Doctoral Degree in English to understand the meaning of the following:

...", the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Getting past 8th grade English should be sufficient.

2

Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah, if you eliminate half the text of the amendment, it's clear as a bell. But, if your NRA-condensed version is what Madison had precisely meant, that's what Madison would have written.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Our legal system recognizes that the law can be confusing and so gives legal protections to people making decisions based upon legal advice. Part of being a licensed lawyer is that legal advice must be based upon a credible legal analysis or the lawyer could be disbarred.

So where is Wiggins' legal advice by a member of the Colorado Bar stating that these laws are unconstitutional?

Apparently, these bills are demonstrating which county sheriffs are intelligent and are able to come up with department policies on how to handle issues such as magazines not having a date of manufacture. And demonstrating which county sheriff's are saying they won't enforce these laws at all because they are simply too stupid to even see how their smarter fellow sheriffs handled these issues,

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Barry Hirsh 1 year, 6 months ago

Your opinion, and opinions are like noses - they all smell.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

So find some facts and show that I am wrong.

Legal advice from a licensed lawyer is legally the right way to proceed when someone has doubts as to what is legal

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Garrett Wiggins 1 year, 6 months ago

Normally, I do not get involved in these conversations but I think everyone needs to understand these bills are very problematic and difficult if not impossible to enforce from a law enforcement standpoint. In today’s article in the Steamboat Pilot, the word “Won’t” was used in the heading in lieu of “Can’t”. The definition for the word “Won’t” in the Webster’s dictionary has a much different meaning than the word “Can’t”. I, along with the other 64 sheriffs of Colorado have studied these bills for the last few months in an attempt to find how they will possibly impact law enforcement. I am sure these bills were written with good intentions and I believe we all agree that something needs to be done to prevent violence in our society. But, some of these highly debated bills were so poorly worded and articulated that they are impossible to enforce. Several of these bills have absolutely no verification mechanisms currently in place that would allow a law enforcement officer (LEO) to establish probably cause (PC) that a crime has been committed. It is incumbent and rightly so, that every person charged with a crime, that the burden of proof stands with the LEO to prove that PC exists prior to an arrest. A LEO legally cannot arrest a person for a crime if PC fails to exist. Doing so would be a crime in itself and would violate a multitude of laws and Constitutional Rights. Regardless of which side of the debate you support, no law justifies someone’s rights to be violated. I will go on the record stating that neither I nor anyone working for me will subject a person to an arrest based on anything less than probable cause. That is the law! In other words, if we can’t legally enforce a law, then I guess that means we won’t. I have taken an oath to protect, support and uphold the Constitution of the United States as well as the Colorado Constitution and I will take that oath to my grave. In my official capacity, I will go to bat for every citizen when it comes to protecting our Constitutional rights regardless of which right it is.
To end this statement, it is time for society to stop blaming inanimate objects such as firearms, cell phones, alcohol, drugs or anything else, for the poor or ignorant decisions that “Humans” make. The bottom line is individuals need to be held accountable for their actions.

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john bailey 1 year, 6 months ago

thank you sheriff, we need to address the mental health issue first. no sane human just goes on and kill people. as for the elk, well theres the fair chase clause....~;0)

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, not clear if Sheriff Wiggins is going to enforce the background checks of private party sales to stop mentally ill people from acquiring guns.

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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

Thank you Sheriff, and thank you to all of our Sheriffs for standing up for our constitutional rights and your oath of Office.

Many of us realize that you guys are caught in the proverbial Catch 22 in this one, no answer that will satisfy both sides. I knew when I read these bills that they would be difficult, if not impossible to prosecute and should never have been passed. We support a court challenge of these laws as well.

Please know that you have some really good folks out there, including those in neighboring counties, who are on your side and stand beside you. Thank you for your courage to stand publicly on this.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

"To end this statement, it is time for society to stop blaming inanimate objects such as firearms, cell phones, alcohol, drugs or anything else, for the poor or ignorant decisions that “Humans” make. The bottom line is individuals need to be held accountable for their actions."

Exactly the point debated in the legislature by our elected representatives. But, your side was out-voted. This comes across as petulance, stating that even though your preferred viewpoint didn't carry the vote, you'll act as if it did regardless of what the legislature says, because they're so incompetent it's better if you just decide what's best for the foolish voters who elected them.

Please, let the voters second-guess the legislature. Not your job.

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Joe Meglen 1 year, 6 months ago

Sheriff Wiggins,

Thank you for your informed and reasoned explaination. Thank you for being a man of your word. Thank you for fighting the good fight.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Editor: Sheriff Wiggins' remarks here deserve wider exposure in the paper.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Sheriff Wiggins,

Other Colorado Sheriffs are willing to figure out how they will enforce these laws with whatever weaknesses. No one is expecting the Routt County Sheriff's dept to ignore probable cause to enforce these laws. Just write dept policy to say that a large gun magazine, by itself, is not probable cause. Just as possession of an ounce of pot is not probable cause to distribute as in some states. But that just means that other evidence such as witnesses and sales receipts is needed to establish probable cause. And responsible Sheriff's are willing to cope with the limitation and not make statements that they can't do anything.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson:

“Public safety professionals serving in the executive branch do not have the constitutional authority, responsibility, and in most cases, the credentials to determine the constitutionality of any issue, . Law enforcement officials should leave it to the courts to decide whether a law is constitutional or not.

“Acts of violence and gun violence have and will, sadly, continue to victimize our community and our country, We all have an obligation to our families, neighbors, our community and our country to be engaged and to demand that well-considered, meaningful, and sustainable solutions to these senseless acts of violence are implemented in a timely manner.”

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

No comments - just the law

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al. v. HELLER

  1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home

(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 , nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 , refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 , does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes.

  1. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

    1. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment . The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional
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Renee_Valenzuela 1 year, 6 months ago

AR15s are in common use, the most commonly held semiautomatic rifle in the country, as well as the standard 30 round magazines. The Glock 17 is another example. The minimum capacity magazine is 17 rounds. Your magazine choices for that handgun is 17, 19, or 33 rounds. Take your pick. To comply with the law, I would have to be buried with my choice of weapons, to maintain continuous custody or give them up to the state. Luckily, I believe these laws will be repealed before the date of my death.

The standing state militia, the National Guard, have M16s, select fire, or fully automatic rifles in common use, as well as a host of other weapons not widely available to the public.

The citizen militia, according to the Supreme Court, are limited to semiautomatic firearms because they are commonly used for lawful purposes. This law, banning the standard and most commonly used magazines for these weapons clearly violates the Supreme Court ruling that you've cited.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, one could argue that machine guns were in common use in the 1930s and yet were banned.

What exactly is "common use" will probably be litigated. But I'd expect that restrictions on large gun magazines would be defended as being overly dangerous and that a 15 round magazine is not impairing a person in the core lawful purpose of self-defense.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Oh this stupid system changed the numbering and indentation of the cited legal decision. Nothing should be indented as subsections of another paragraph.

Why does this paper have an editing system that while typing so inaccurately shows how a post will be formatted?

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john bailey 1 year, 6 months ago

we need a thumbs down option. change your diaper.

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john bailey 1 year, 6 months ago

by the way, RIP, Niles Mason, it was truly a pleasure of mine to know you. i will miss doing business with you ~;0(

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Just about every Coloradan with a semi-auto is now a criminal, by virtue of owning magazines “...that can be readily converted to accept more than fifteen rounds of ammunition...”

All you need is a mag with a removable base plate, and the necessary skills. If you don't have the skills, conversion kits are plentiful & cheap - starting at around 25 bucks at outlets like Cabela's.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Brian,

I seem to be finding paintball accessories when trying to find what you are talking about.

Can you please provide a link to the sort of magazine extension that you are talking about?

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

And it looks like you are allowed to own your current magazines so you are not breaking the law unless you sell them if you are convinced they can easily be converted.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Tom

I really don't know where Scott stands on anything, including 2A issues. He doesn't argue from conviction. He just argues. For the same reason my dog licks himself. When Meigs has his head where the sun don't shine, I ignore him. Ditto for Scott.

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Kevin Nerney 1 year, 6 months ago

For all you Constitutional "experts" here is a little expert advice for you. When confronted by an armed Police Officer and he (or she) asks you to do something you had better comply. To site an example I will go back to the days when I walked a beat in the big city. I was called to the site of a man with a knife and he was acting menacingly with it. I was about 20 feet away from him and asked him to drop the knife, which he refused to do. Being the jailhouse lawyer that he was he said I could not shoot him. I then told him he might be dead right but he would still be dead. Moral of the story is that yes the Police are Judge Jury and Executioner, they do not concede their authority to the Supreme Court. Yes he dropped the knife. No I will not not surrender my weapons. Back to the main subject matter of the article. Why must I as a private citizen be required to do the government work for them once again. First the want us (me or other employers) to find out if employees are legal residents and now they want us to spend time effort and money on background checks if I want to sell my guns? Do I have to ask and verify if a person has a drivers license if I sell my car? Did Eric Holder verify who was buying all those guns he sent south?

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beverly lemons 1 year, 6 months ago

Wiggins and his pals are serving themselves and not the public by pandering to right wing funding by proclaiming how much they love guns.

Using this issue to soapbox for attention and political support is as transparent as whining about government conspiracies and exaggerating drug threats to prop up an already bloated and self serving ACET. I'm sure all the white angry male " God and Guns" heroes are now very motivated to fund Wiggins next run for office.

How about enforcing law because one was elected to serve the county, not self interest and the Republican fund raising machine? And, if one really has an issue with a law, go through channels to change it-but that would not feed the ego or the election purse, would it now?

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Joe Meglen 1 year, 6 months ago

Given that the government controls the public school system, it is not surprising that people do not understand the principles of freedom. Collectivists have controlled the school system for several generations now. The principles of self ownership and freedom are purposely not taught in our socialized schools, for individual freedom is a threat to the state. Government is the opposite of freedom. It is corrupt by definition, for it is the anthisis of free will. Distilled down to its essence, government is brute force. Like cancer, it is the nature of government to grow if not kept in check. The founders were well aware of this fact, which is why the powers delegated to government are strictly limited. Two of the many important checks on government growth memorialized in the Constitution are sound money (no fiat currency) and the 2nd Amendment. The founders had just fought the Revolutionary War, which was triggered when the King tried to seize the people’s guns. The 2nd Amendment recognized the fact that free people have the unalienable right to defend themselves, using whatever means necessary, against all threats, including the threat of a tyrannical government. The Constitutional Republic that was established recognized that power first emanated from the sovereign individual, who then delegated limited authority to the states, and then placed even more limitations on the powers delegated to the federal government. The states, being more powerful than the central government could, and can, nullify (10th Amendment) unconstitutional usurpations by the federal government. Given that authority originates with the sovereign individual, it follows that the County Sheriff is the last line of defense, short of the individual himself, against unconstitutional usurpations by state or federal governments. Therefore, when Sheriff Garret Wiggins refuses to enforce unconstitutional state sponsored gun control legislation, he honors his oath of office. The unprincipled Colorado “representatives” and governor if he fails to veto these bills, betray their sacred oath. When people don’t keep their word, they lack integrity. They can’t be trusted, which is why they need to be thrown out of office during the next election cycle, if not sooner. Gun control laws are a direct attack on the Constitution. Without the 2nd Amendment, there is no Constitution, which is the real point of government sponsored gun control laws. The lawful way to pass gun control laws is to amend the Constitution.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

"Therefore, when Sheriff Garret Wiggins refuses to enforce unconstitutional state sponsored gun control legislation, he honors his oath of office."

No, he does not. The constitution only gives the power to declare legislation unconstitutional to the JUDICIAL BRANCH. Not Sheriffs! Our Sheriff is politicizing his office in VIOLATION of his oath by arrogating this unconstitutional power to himself! This is not acceptable.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Pretty funny that posting a Supreme Court decision overturning Washington DC's handgun prohibition and other posts consistent with that legal opinion makes me an anti-2nd Amendment whack.

And SB Police Chief Joel Rae is also tasked with enforcing these state laws within SB City limits. Somehow that professional law enforcement officer is able to do his job without making general blanket statements that new laws are unenforceable.

The background check is favored in national polls by an 8 to 1 margin. Banning large magazines is favored 4-3. Looks like Democrats in the State Legislature have good reasons to believe this is more likely to help than hurt their reelection chances.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Kevin Nerney,

"... they want us to spend time effort and money on background checks if I want to sell my guns?"

Yep. They have this theory that it would be a bad idea if you sold your guns to criminals or the mentally ill. So they changed the law so that people that cannot buy from gun dealers are not allowed to buy guns from individuals.

I know that sounds crazy to some people. But most people, 88% to 11% in a recent poll, think that sounds more like common sense than some radical infringement upon you.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

The "theory" doesn't apply to Obama's attorney general, who trafficked all those "bad" type guns to drug dealers and murderers in Mexico.

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jerry carlton 1 year, 6 months ago

Just saw on the Arizona news tonight, someone killed the Colorado DOC Head. How many rounds did they put in him? All you guys against capital punishment go work in corrections for 5 years and see if you are still against it.

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Kevin Nerney 1 year, 6 months ago

Scott W. I guess timing is everything. Good thing Holder got rid of his guns before it became illegal.Tell that to the family of Nicholas J. Ivie the Border Patrol agent killed in Oct. probably by a gun from the fast and furious fiasco that the DA set up and has not been held accountable for. By the way Joel can't voice his opinion because he is being handcuffed by the City. Remember this is an at will state and he can get fired at anytime. At least Wiggins get to hang around until the next election.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 6 months ago

oh the irony - does any one else on this string not think it would be ironic if our buddy Scott got a ticket for doing 28 MPH in a 25 MPH speed zone. The police would be enforcing the law. I believe that is what Scott wants regards the newly signed gun control laws so hopefully he doesn't go over 25 mph driving on Lincoln in steamboat Springs.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

I just want local law enforcement to have enough professional pride and little enough of an interest in political grandstanding to uphold their oaths of office to enforce state laws. When a law presents challenges in determining what is legal versus what is illegal then professional law enforcement does not simply give up, but have department policy on how to determine when it is clearly illegal.

Sheriff's Wiggins blanket statement that he won't enforce the new gun laws is reckless. That is saying that he intends to allow anyone to openly violate the law. With that comment he is saying he won't care if a drug dealer is buying new 30 round magazines over the internet. Or his dept won't care if there is clear evidence that a violent felon gave money to a friend to purchase guns on his behalf. So he is telling everyone in the county that are not allowed to purchase a gun that the Sheriff isn't able to figure out how any part of the gun laws can be enforced, and so they can go ahead and still purchase a gun.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 6 months ago

Scott, My guess is Sheriff Wiggins and his deputies will do there best to enforce the new laws to the best of their abilities just as they do with all laws. I am not sure why you accuse Sheriff Wiggins of "political grandstanding" and being a "right wing idealogue" as it adds nothing to the discussion but if your rant makes you feel better so be it. It might just be possible that Wiggins is letting the bad guys know that they can not count on the good guys being at a disadvantage because of the new gun laws signed by our DFL governor. From my perspective, when our pols in Washington start taking the guns away from the bad guys, maybe the good guys will sit down and have reasonable discussions about gun control. Fast and Furious - giving guns to the bad guys vs. new gun control regulations being passed in Colorado and being discussed in Senate are not giving me great comfort. As always, thanks for the discussion. PS: If you haven't already, I would recommend you read "The Fourth Turning". It could give you a better read on where we are politically and economically as cycles and patterns repeat.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 6 months ago

Good job Men, but why is it just Routt, Moffat,Weld and El Paso county sheriffs??? What happen to Boulder, Denver and Arapahoe Counties. I think that Wiggins and Jantz know that we are also outnumber by the Big Front Range counties that have more that one rep per county. And why did Diane go to ground? She not going to back her unpopular decision and speak to her hometown paper.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Time for the naysayers to put your money where your outrageously outrageous outrage is. The Sheriff is an elected official, so start raising $$ to fund a recall. I'll pop some corn and enjoy the show.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 6 months ago

Tom,

Serious question.

Will you accept these laws if they are found to be consitutional by the Supreme Court or are you advocating armed insurrection like Mr. Hartless?

Are there any regulations that you support ? Not specifically gun regulations, Any regulation at all?

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bill schurman 1 year, 6 months ago

"Nice" that the Commander lets his personal views stand in the way of law "enforcement". "To protect and serve" ?

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Deputy Attorney General Anita Bath [emphasis mine]:

“For now people should just relax, especially undocumented immigrants. Be assured that this President, unlike previous Presidents, will not enforce laws just because Congress passed them. Any law that President Obama or his cabinet considers unconstitutional, poorly conceived, unfortunate or misguided will not be supported. This President will not be swayed by public opinion, court rulings or Congressional dictates. The American people hired him to change America fundamentally, and in order to do that he must act independently and with great courage.”

Bill Schurman: Do you find the President's refusal to enforce existing law to be more or less egregious than what you regard as Wiggins' dereliction?

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DAtty 1 year, 6 months ago

This would be a fairly unusual thing for a Deputy Attorney General to say. I have never heard of Anita Bath and after searching google, I can find no evidence that such a person exists. I can also find no evidence that any government lawyer has stated what is said in this alleged quote. It appears to a fake quote.

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bill schurman 1 year, 6 months ago

Tom,

Our Governor will be reelected in spite you and your "hunker down" buddies and if McConnell runs again there ain't enough right wingers to elect him.

Cheers to you. Bill

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

So Bill - is the President right or wrong in refusing to enforce existing law? A question you can answer with one syllable. You're not afraid to, are you?

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DAtty 1 year, 6 months ago

It appears to be a fake quote going around conservative websites.

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Bob Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

"....Collectivists have controlled the school system for several generations now. The principles of self ownership and freedom are purposely not taught in our socialized schools...." again, where does this come from. do you have any kids joe??

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 6 months ago

No bait Tom, just curious. I think that you would find our views are closer together than the comments on this forum would seem to suggest. IMHO the worst problem our country faces is the refusal to listen and thoughtfully consider the opinions of others.

Brian, yes it is egregious when any elected official at any level chooses politics over enforcing the law. Not so sure this has happened with Sheriff Wiggins. That decision would be above my pay grade :)

When I went to High School, we frequently took shotguns or rifles (depending on season) to school in the gun rack of the pickup truck. We were not alone, the parking lot was full of vehicles that contained firearms. Never in my memory did anyone ever complain about or use those firearms in a threatening manner. In Elementary School Cowboys and Indians or Cops and Robbers were an every day occurance. Fingers were pointed and bang bang your dead happened at every recess.

What has happened to our society that gun violence has become so common? That would be a more telling conversation than gun control. Guns are and have always been part of America. Their existence and possession should not be causing the violence. A much larger problem exists that we have failed to identify.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Chris:

Wiggins (and others) have made compelling arguments that the sloppy wording & logistics of the law make it unenforceable, although I'd be breathtakingly naive not to believe that ideology isn't also a factor. Instructive how hacks like Bill Schurman run away from honestly evaluating similar discretions when deployed by their ideological kin. Hypocrisy and cowardice come to mind.

Your final paragraph cuts to the heart of the matter. Evil is what it is. Thanks to a 24/7 news cycle, we are instantly bombarded with evil's works where ever and whenever it occurs. I'd have to do some research to confirm the following speculation, but I'm reasonably confident that gun violence (& violent crime in general) have been on a steady decline over the last decade or two. Fox/MSNBC/CNN et al, have a 24/7 beast to feed and it's hungry. If it bleeds, it leads.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

These laws will never be tested by the Supreme Court because there is no serious legal question that they are constitutional. Somebody will probably contest the laws, but a lower level court will follow precedents and uphold the laws.

I think it is pretty funny to read people rant about the US being a "socialized society" In the 60s and 70s the Democratic Party was internally arguing whether to promise full employment as a party plank. Now both parties are frequently criticized as being tools of big corporations.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

The Sheriff's are NOT choosing "politics" over "law". They are stating that those "new laws" are "unenforceable"

So, if other Colorado police departments are able to develop policy on how to constitutionally enforce these laws then will these politically grandstanding Sheriff's realize they have been revealed as inept as professional law enforcement officials and resign?

Where is Sheriff Wiggins legal advice from a Colorado licensed lawyer stating that these laws are unenforceable? A professional law enforcement official does not presume to be a legal scholar and instead relies upon legal professionals for answering legal questions.

But Sheriff Wiggins would rather testify against these bills and when they are passed to then proclaim he can't and won't enforce them. Obviously, Sheriff Wiggins is much less competent than the Arapahoe County Sheriff whose office is capable of determining how the new laws can be enforced.

I think Sheriff Wiggins statements have made it much easier for him to lose any reelection bid. By his own statements, he is either a rightwing ideologue or inept at enforcing state laws. A rightwing ideologue sheriff probably doesn't hurt his reelection chances in Moffat or other strongly Republican counties. But in predominately Democratic Routt County, it was not smart to join that rightwing group of Sheriffs.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Until I read the article, it never occurred to me to check my mags for identifying marks or stampings. So I did. And not one of my many clips - not ONE - is ID'd with a serial # or date of manufacture. ALL my clips fall under law's prohibition against being "readily convert[able] to accept more than 15 rounds..." Assuming my clips are representative (and I suspect they are), how do the supporters of this legislation propose that that provision be enforced?

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

Isn't that why your clips are grandfathered in? Enforcement occurs if a citizen finds a gun store to be selling new clips which violate the law, and files a complaint. Law enforcement, acting on this complaint, has probable cause to check that gun store's stock and issue a citation. Any LEO who refuses to do so, isn't doing his job as expected by the voters.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Brian,

Since the clips do not indicate when they were made then their date of manufacture cannot easily be determined. So the clip itself is not evidence of violating the law.

But if the police raid a suspected drug dealer and find a collection of apparently new assault rifles with 30 round magazines then the police would seem to have probable cause of illegal magazines and could investigate further. It would seem probable that the new guns came with new illegal magazines.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

I have to call hypocrisy on most of y'all in this thread. Had this been a piece of pet right-wing legislation passed by a GOP legislature, and the dissenting Sheriffs were Democrats, every last one of you would agree with my position.

Which is why this issue should transcend the underlying matter, and party politics. As a citizen and a voter, I object to the Sheriff politicizing his office, and would still do so if the situation were politically reversed, regardless of my opinion on the legislation at issue.

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 6 months ago

Sounds like an "oath-keeper" to me:

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2013/0122/20130122_044227_SheriffRobinsonGunViolencePerspective.pdf http://www.calea.org/user-profile/mr-j-grayson-robinson

"[A]s the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the County, he is required by statute to keep and preserve the peace, serve and execute all processes, writs, precepts and orders issued or made by lawful authorities, and serve the civil courts of record held in the County."

http://www.co.arapahoe.co.us/departments/SH/index.asp

I'd vote for this guy based on that letter alone. Clearly understands his job description vis-a-vis the federal and state constitutions.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 6 months ago

Brian, I check my clips and found them to be the same as you describe. No stamps, dates or identifying marks and each could be modified to accept more rounds. Does the new law call for all new clips to be marked and identified? That would at least give a starting point to measure from. If not, why bother? The statement that "I bought it years ago" would be sufficient to make every single clip and weapon in Colorado legal with no proof to the contrary.

Our current laws already ban the possession of fully automatic weapons without permits, no surface to air missiles, no bombs, no RPG's etc. Even the most conservative members of the court support these restrictions but have rejected outright bans on other common classes of weaponry like pistols. All of these laws have been tested and found to be Constitutional including the expired Assault Weapons ban from 1994.

General question for all. Do you support existing regulations or are all of them Un-Consitutional in your opinion.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

The legislation mandates that clips manufactured in CO be clearly marked. So 'I bought it before the ban' and 'it wasn't made in CO' are easy outs. Magpul has told the state to pound sand and is pulling out, taking their 200 jobs and $85 million annual contribution to our economy with them.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Q: Does the new law call for all new clips to be marked and identified?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: The statement that "I bought it years ago" would be sufficient to make every single clip and weapon in Colorado legal with no proof to the contrary.

A: Yes, but a new weapon is clearly not bought years ago. And the weapon bought years ago cannot be sold with a large clip so new owners should not have large capacity magazines.

Q: Private sales will have to go to Denver and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to get a background check.

A: The law states that registered gun dealers may charge $10 to perform the background check for private sales. The background check for private sales is otherwise the same as for gun dealer sales.

And the above is what Wiggins publicly proclaims as being unenforceable.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

Coming soon to a home near you if the pansies get their way: NJ 10 year old is pictured on Facebook holding a .22 hunting rifle. Someone anonymously calls a NJ child abuse hotline. Cops & child protective services descend on the home and try to intimidate the Dad into bowing down. Dad tells them to take a hike. His account of the episode: http://www.deloc.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8175

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Bob Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

here you go boys. "hate to say i told you so", right?!? Gun Owners of America president Larry Pratt appeared Tuesday on the Talk to Solomon Show to warn Obama is raising a private black army to massacre white americans! http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gun-activists-warn-obama-raising-private-black-army-white-massacre-americans

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

And here's Dr. Kamau Kambon on CSPAN calling for the extermination of white people. Turn over enough rocks and the loons will scurry about. What's your point, Bob? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEqa90...

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

If Dr. Carson throws his hat into the ring, it'll be interesting to watch the left try to demonize him.

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Rick Pighini 1 year, 6 months ago

"can't make this stuff up" most of this thread is made up. It's like the Hidden star wars book the author didn't make into a movie because it was too far fetched. What gov't isn't divided. Where in the world is this happening. Gov't is about being divided. What Association of people do you guys know that aren't divided. Nothing is worse its the same and will continue to be the same while we sit on the Internet and argue rather than taking our views to the courts, schools, churches, clubs, Washington and the streets. The fears I see on this thread are a bit much. Where are the reasonable people. Oath keepers wtf. Good luck with that. For all of you that can't gaurd your property and liberty while you sleep let me know, I can drive out and watch the door while you rest. I've got guns too. Of course there will be a small monthly fee.

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rhys jones 1 year, 6 months ago

One thing is sure, and I think all will agree, that things can't continue forever as they are. Our burgeoning debt has got to be resolved -- how long until the bubble pops? And what happens when it does? Can we just declare bankruptcy and be done with it? Will the world plunge into darkness and war? Will the Chinese and Saudi's call in their debt, and move into Washington offices?

None of these outcomes would surprise me, but regardless of the future, I see the symptoms go merrily along (petty infighting and polarization, false idols and demons) while the disease remains undiagnosed. Watch Sylvester laugh, as he drives off with all our money.

That's inevitable. Trivia by now. What's REALLY important is the NBA. Where the future remains uncertain. This plot is not scripted.

How 'bout them Nuggets, Jerry? 15 straight and counting!! Our Andre's are great: Iggy the Defender, and Miller the Passer. They beat OKC on their own floor, by 10 points, on the second night of a back-to-back road trip, after beating the Bulls in Chicago in overtime the previous night. Kevin Durant later said "We fell into their trap. We couldn't play their game." This is a GREAT year to be a Nuggets fan. Bury your head in the sand, have some fun, I do.

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jerry carlton 1 year, 6 months ago

Rhya Have not see another game recently but grab the paper every morning to see if they won and if OKC lost Lead is down from 6 to 3 games now. Might catch them yet.

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Bob Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

“We’ve gotten a glimpse into the mindset of the pro-gun people,” Krugman observed. “And we’ve seen certainly with [NRA CEO] Wayne LaPierre and some of these others, it’s bizarre, they have this vision that we’re living in a Mad Max movie and that nothing can be done about it, that America cannot manage unless everybody’s prepared to shoot intruders, that the idea that we have a police force that provides public safety is somehow totally impractical, despite the fact that that is in fact the way we live.”

-PK

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jerry carlton 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey Bob and Paul Krugman, Want to see living in a Mad Max Movie? Go to Chicago and go down to the "Hood" where 6 to 8 people are murdered every weekend. This is Obama/Rahm Emanuel country. Give you a good feeling about your national leadership?

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

It's funny how the "Bob Smith" leftists sit up here in crime free "whitetopia" and pontificate about how all the gun nuts are the ones detached from reality; in some ways he's correct, but his unarmed world would be RE-attached to an all new reality in a very few minutes on the streets of East St. Louis.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 5 months ago

A big reason it is so hard to win a simple argument with the Gun Grabbers is their are a lot of morons that say they want the FEDS to bud out then turn around and say they want the Feds help. Here is a story out of Idaho where they rightly said they would not enforce any new Federal gun laws then turn around and blame Washington for passing 502 and now are trying to pass a law so the Feds can enforce Marijuana Laws in that state.http://www.idahoreporter.com/2013/senate-committee-approves-sending-two-anti-marijuana-measures-to-full-senate/

Some of you do more harm than good by this nonsense. Either you supports States rights or you don't . There is no middle ground and I hope that their are County Sheriffs in Idaho that will ignore this new stupid law.

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mark hartless 1 year, 5 months ago

Exactly, Mike. Trying to stand with one foot in the "leave me alone and let me smoke pot" world while having the other foot in the "be my fellow citizens keeper and don't let him have the gun, car, food, soda of his choice" world simply does not work. Not many Americans really understandf what real freedom is.

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