Sheriff Urges Angry Crowd to Mobilize Against Gun Laws (Colorado Springs)
This is significant because local sheriffs occupy an iconic position to many wingnuts these days. My contacts in Colorado Springs tell me that pro-gun hysteria has reached fever pitch there. This is majority opinion in the Springs, and most elected officials are in agreement with it. If an armed revolt is possible at all, this is the number one candidate for where it will happen.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa told an angry crowd Thursday he would stand firm against Democrat-sponsored gun bills that will almost certainly become law July 1.
Maketa, who received several standing ovations during a two-hour public meeting about gun legislation, said the proposed laws were hastily crafted and at least one would be unenforceable.
“One of the reasons a vast, vast majority of sheriffs around this state are opposing these bills and all aspects of these bills is because they are concerned that this is a stepping stone to registration” of gun owners, he said.
“We will not tolerate that kind of intrusion on our personal property rights,” he said, generating loud applause from the standing-room-only crowd of more than 300.
Maketa urged the group to mobilize before the next election, and to support a proposed recall of Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, over Morse’s support of gun control legislation. Maketa and Morse have traded barbs over whether opposition from County Sheriffs of Colorado to gun bills was linked to lack of support for a pay increase for sheriffs.
At one point during Thursday’s meeting, held at Centennial Hall downtown, Maketa imitated Morse, drawing laughter from the audience. When Maketa first mentioned Morse, the crowd started to boo, and Maketa raised his arms and encouraged more booing.
Maketa said he’s working with attorneys to see what can be done to overturn the bills if they become law.
“I’ve been talking to people about bringing litigation against the state of Colorado,” he said.
Maketa said he would have to enforce bills signed into law to prevent exposing the county and taxpayers to liability. However, he said he would willfully ignore the ban on high-capacity magazines.
“I don’t know when you bought them. Do you see what I’m saying?” he said. “I can’t tell you when those were sold, bought and purchased. As far as I’m concerned, they were all pre-July 1 if the governor does sign this bill.”
That bill fails to recognize that there are “hundreds of thousands of those magazines floating around,” he said.
“It’s sold to the state and the citizens as a big lie and will not save lives,” he said.
The audience peppered Maketa with questions, including whether he would run for a seat on the state Legislature or for governor.
“I don’t have any plan to run for governor, for senate, for house,” he said. “I say that knowing full well things can change.”
Another audience member asked whether the sheriff’s office maintained a database of gun owners. Maketa said his office keeps records of every concealed carry permit holder in the county but that he would never share it.
“I was asked this question: ‘What if the state passed a law that required you had to turn over all of your database information to the state?’ I’ll tell you what my answer would be: ‘What database? I no longer have one,’” he said.
The meeting was sponsored by county Commissioner Peggy Littleton, who kicked it off by reading a resolution adopted by the Board of County Commissioners in January.