Category Archives: Law

Elderly NY Man Kills Repeat Burglars, Is Charged For Using Inherited Gun, Loses His Home

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New York gun laws are beyond ridiculous! Folks this really happened, and really still is happening as you read this. SEE IT ALL

Ronald Stolarczyk

SOURCE: Bizpacreview.com by Vivek Saxena

Imagine being arrested and losing your home after two repeat burglars break into your house again and rush toward you with the possible intention of murdering you. This exact scenario played out in New York late last month thanks to the far-left state’s draconian gun control laws.

A 64-year-old Deerfield homeowner was charged with illegal firearm possession and arrested after he used a gun he’d inherited from his deceased father to kill two repeat burglars. Then upon his release from a jail a couple of days later, he found himself homeless because his house had been condemned.

Around 3:00 pm or so on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 28, Deerfield resident Ronald Stolarczyk reportedly returned home, only to find a burglary in progress.

“He told me that when they were coming up the stairs, that as they approached him, that he was scared to death and he thought they were going to kill him,” his attorney, Mark Wolber, said to local station WKTV, describing what’d occurred that day.

“One of the troopers said, ‘Did you see anything in their hands?’ He said, ‘I didn’t look at their hands, I just saw them coming at me and I thought to myself, at that point, that it’s either them or me,’ and he just started firing.”

Burglar Patricia Anne Talerico reportedly died at the scene, while burglar Nicholas Talerico ran to a neighbor for help, was driven by the neighbor to a nearby hospital and subsequently died there.

Case closed, right? Not in New York …

Because Stolarczyk had never registered his deceased father’s gun, he was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm. The good news is that Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara doesn’t intend to also charge him with homicide, even if the Talericos had been unarmed.

“At this point in time, we have no reason to believe they were armed, but under the law, Mr. Stolarczyk, the law doesn’t require them to be armed for Mr. Stolarczyk to defend himself against a burglar,” McNamara said to WKTV.

Phew …

Update: According to police, it appeared that the suspects had burglarized Ronald Stolarczyk’s home previously and were returning to burglarize it again, adding that they found items belonging to Stolarczyk in one of the suspects’ home.

The bad news is that Stolarczyk faces up to four years in prison on the firearm charge alone. Moreover, after McNamara allowed him to be released without paying bail last week, he discovered that he’s now homeless thanks to the meddling authorities.

Speaking with The Post-Standard, McNamara explained why —
“Stolarczyk appears to be a hoarder, McNamara said, and among the items he collected were Commodore and Atari computers,” the Syracuse-based outlet reported. “The home has no electricity and no running water, the DA said. The home has been condemned due to its condition, he said.”

As a result, the poor guy’s now homeless.

“After this incident, Stolarczyk’s house was condemned, and he’s not able to go back,” WKTV reported after his release from jail. “Wolber says Stolarczyk is being provided with temporary shelter and benefits through Social Services.”

And he still has to deal with the pending charge: “He’s due back in court August 5. His attorney is asking for a dismissal of the charges in the interest of justice.”

There is a GoFundMe page.

“Ronald Stolarczyk defended his home from two intruders intent on burglarizing his home and now he is sitting in jail facing a felony charge because he used his deceased fathers revolver,” the page reads.

“This is Un-American and Un-Constitutional! People have a right to keep and bear arms and defend their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! And government shouldn’t be violating or infringing on those rights. Those rights that men and woman died for!”

The page is run by Aaron Dorn of New Hartford, a local gun rights advocate.

“This is [about] more then what happened in Ronald’s home,” the page continues. “[T]his is about standing up to tyranny, a tyrannical government that does not respect the constitution or the people. This is about sending a message to the DA and the pansies in Albany and Washington that want to take away our rights to posses a firearm, any firearm, without having to jump through hopes and pay them fees on something we already have a right to.”

The issue isn’t necessarily so much that gun owners in New York are required to register their weapons, though some believe that too is tyrannical and unconstitutional.

The issue is rather that local officials are so fanatical in their enforcement of this controversial rule that they’re willing to charge a guy who was just burglarized and almost killed.

If local officials had a heart, they’d cut Stolarczyk a break and just say something like, “Hey, we won’t charge you or anything because of what you’ve been through, but please do us a favor and go ahead and register your father’s gun. Thanks, pal.”

But it gets worse …

The Post-Standard reported that there was a third person involved in the burglary — a driver.

And because she’s been “cooperating,” McNamara’s office has chosen to not charge her …

FYI, Stolarczyk has also been cooperating: “Stolarczyk has cooperated fully, and told authorities he shot the two in the front area of their bodies as they came at him, the DA said.”

And what has he received for this cooperation? Homelessness and a potential prison sentence.

Nice …

SEE THE FULL ARTICLE PLUS VIDEOS HERE 

 

New Jersey: Assembly Judiciary Committee Begins Next Wave of Gun Control

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Nobody ever accused New Jersey of lacking gun laws, and yet, lawmakers in Trenton can’t seem to accomplish anything except pass gun bills. READ MORE

new jersey capital

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Despite passing a magazine ban and several other bills last year, New Jersey gun banners are back at it again. On Thursday, June 13, the Assembly Judiciary Committee is holding a 10 a.m. hearing with several gun bills on the agenda.

The following bills are included on Thursday’s agenda:

A.1016 by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson requires gun shops to sell smart guns. They are simply trying to force market acceptance of a technologically unviable product. New Jersey’s current statute requires that once smart guns are certified, then only smart guns can be sold. This would ban the future sale of traditional handguns. This is nothing more than a gun ban disguised as a “firearm safety” issue. ?

A.3696 by Assemblywoman Joann Downey requires mandatory storage of firearms. New Jersey already has a storage requirement. This bill does nothing more than continue to tip the scales in favor of criminals in self-defense situations.

A.5452 by Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson would require Firearms Identification Cards to be renewed every four years and would require training to obtain an FID card. The bill also makes it tougher to will firearms as part of an estate.

A.5453 by Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez and A.5454 by Assemblyman Louis Greenwald criminalizes the purchase, transfer and possession of firearms and ammunition to disqualified individuals. This legislation is completely unnecessary given that current federal and state law already prohibits straw purchases.

A.5455 by Assemblyman Louis Greenwald regulates the sale of handgun ammunition and develops a system for electronic reporting of firearm information.

New Jersey already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Once again, this package of bills does nothing more than target law-abiding gun owners. It does absolutely nothing to improve public safety. Please contact members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and respectfully ask them to oppose this package of bills.

 

Does a Suppressed Pistol Sound like a Nail Gun?

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Not exactly! Not even remotely. But it’s another example of the gun control groups ignorance afoot and afloat out there. READ MORE

suppressor

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In response to reports that the Virginia Beach shooter used a firearm suppressor in carrying out his terrible crime, David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor for the Giffords gun control group, claimed that a suppressed pistol is especially dangerous because the noise associated with the firearm is difficult to distinguish from a nail gun. As per usual for claims Chipman and his employer make about firearm suppressors, this is false.

In an article appearing in the Virginian-Pilot, Chipman claims, “The gun does not sound gun-like. It takes the edge out of the tone . . . This is how I would describe it: It makes a gun sort of sound like a nail gun.”

But, a suppressed .45 caliber pistol, like the one that is reported to have been used in Virginia Beach, is many times louder than a nail gun:

A suppressed .45 caliber pistol produces about 130-135 dBA.
A nail gun produces about 100 dBA.

Decibels (dBA) are a logarithmic scale, so sound levels increase in a non-linear fashion. A 3 dBA increase doubles the sound pressure level. (Although most people perceive a 6 to 10 dBA increase as double the noise level.)

The 30-35 dBA difference between a nail gun and a suppressed pistol will be perceived as at least eight times louder to the human ear.

As an interesting comparison, an unsuppressed pistol produces about 165 dBA. So the difference between an unsuppressed and suppressed pistol is about the same difference in sound pressure level between a suppressed pistol and a nail gun.

suppressor sound

Chipman can’t have it both ways, if, as he claims, suppressed gunfire can’t be easily identified as gunfire, then suppressed gunfire doesn’t sound anything like a nail gun.

This isn’t Chipman’s first attempt to mislead the public on firearm suppressors. In 2017, he made a false claim about the design intent of suppressors. And, his employer received three “Pinocchios” from the Washington Post fact checker for misleading claims they made about suppressors.

Unfortunately, the Virginian-Pilot article created further confusion about suppressors by producing audio files that purport to show the difference in sound level between nail guns, suppressed pistols, and unsuppressed pistols. Listening to recorded audio through speakers or headphones cannot accurately depict these sound differences. Due to microphone and speaker specifications, most sounds in audio recordings are reproduced at a similar sound level. This is why normal conversations and gunfire can both be reproduced in the same audio recording despite the fact that one of the sounds is over 100 dBA louder than the other.

The only way to accurately perceive the differences in sound levels is to hear them in person (with appropriate hearing protection). Short of that, if the Virginian-Pilot wanted to accurately convey differences in sound level, using commonly occurring sounds can be helpful.

For example, a suppressed pistol at over 130 dBA is louder than the maximum sound level of a jackhammer. Not exactly quiet and nothing like a nail gun.

 

Democrats Now Opposed to Safe Neighborhoods?

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Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw– criminals don’t obey the law! READ MORE

pelosi

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Ever since taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been waging an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), the caucus has been an entity in virtual lock-step promoting a laundry list of today’s most popular anti-gun proposals. Whether it is banning semi-automatic firearms and placing limitations on magazine capacities, pushing “universal” background checks, imposing potentially endless waiting periods, or trying to use financial institutions to drive their political agenda, anti-gun Democrats are looking to exploit every opportunity they can to promote their attacks on our freedoms.

At every step, Pelosi and her minions push anti-gun legislation with the lie that each proposal will be the death knell to violent crime committed with firearms. Of course, we’ve all heard this mantra for decades. And for decades we’ve seen every anti-gun law that has passed fail to put a dent in crime, only to be followed by a new proposal that the gun-ban extremists insist will get the job done…this time.

Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw — criminals don’t obey the law. They ignore or circumvent the new laws just as readily as they ignore or circumvent the old ones. If they are willing to commit robbery, why would they not also be willing to commit armed robbery? If they are willing to commit assault, why would they not be willing to commit assault with a deadly weapon? And if they are willing to commit homicide, again, why would they not be willing to commit homicide using a firearm? One more law will not stop a violent criminal from being a violent criminal.

The people actually impacted by gun control laws are, of course, law-abiding gun owners, who were never part of the problem to begin with. They may not agree with anti-gun laws, but they tend to obey them while working to change them.

This doesn’t mean that there are no options for addressing violent crime. The secret, which isn’t really a secret, is to go after the actual offenders. One good example is Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).

Started in 2001 under President George W. Bush, PSN is a collaborative effort, utilizing the resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders to target violent crime at the local level. Specific priorities are identified based on the local environment, and solutions are developed, with the primary objective of going after the most violent offenders and putting them in prison.

It should come as no surprise that the simple concept of getting violent criminals off the streets to keep them from committing violent crimes has proven to be a very effective tool for law enforcement. While violent crime in the US has been in a state of general decline since its peak in 1991, PSN programs have shown to accelerate declines. According to the United States Department of Justice, from 2000 to 2006, PSN program areas saw overall reductions in violent crime from 4%-20%, and specifically-targeted violent crimes were reduced by up to 42%. By comparison, locations where PSN was not implemented saw reductions, but of only 0.9%.

There is, of course, little evidence to indicate that gun control reduces violent crime, and plenty of evidence that indicates fewer restrictions on law-abiding gun owners leads to such reductions. But even if Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats cannot be convinced of this, one would at least think they would support a proven law-enforcement program like PSN, which has clearly been shown to reduce the violent crime they claim to want to see reduced.

Then again, maybe not.

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies recommending de-funding PSN. Chaired by U.S. Representative José Serrano (D-N.Y.), the subcommittee’s recommendation seems to indicate a continuing trend by House Democrats to oppose President Donald Trump whenever possible.

The program, as previously stated, started under President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama, even when Democrats controlled the House and Senate during Obama’s first term. So why is there an issue now?

It may simply be that Democrats are reflexively opposed to anything Trump supports, and the current administration has promoted the program. It would be a shocking abuse of power if Democrats actually chose to end a program that has been so successful at reducing violent crime simply out of spite for a president the party clearly loathes.

Fortunately, there are still many steps left in the process for approving the U.S. Department of Justice budget, through which PSN is funded, so we can only hope that cooler heads within the Democrat leadership will intercede and ensure PSN remains fully funded.

That is, if there are any cooler heads left.

 

Kamala Harris Says She’ll Ban Imports of all AR-15-Style Assault Weapons if Congress Doesn’t Act

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Harris: I’ll give Congress 100 days to pass gun laws… READ MORE

kamala harris

SOURCE: CNN, by Kyung Lah

Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday announced that, if she is elected president, she will ban the importation of all AR-15 style assault weapons by executive action if Congress fails to act in the first 100 days of her administration.

Harris made the announcement at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “Assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short period of time,” Harris said.

“I think that this has got to be something that is understood, that we cannot any longer afford to allow people to make this a partisan issue,” Harris added. “Those guns, those assault weapons, do not discriminate and determine, ‘OK, is the person pointing it at, is it a Democrat or Republican.’ “

Harris’ proposal is the latest in a series of gun-related executive actions she has promised to take if she wins the Democratic nomination and defeats Donald Trump in 2020. Previously, Harris had said she’d use presidential executive action to mandate near-universal background checks, revoke licenses of gun dealers who break the law, limit fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants from buying guns and close the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

Harris’ new proposal “would ban AR-15-style assault weapon imports because they are not ‘suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.’ Additionally, the Harris proposal would have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives suspend all assault weapons imports until the agency studies and determines admissibility under the “sporting purpose” test, said the Harris official.

SEE the video HERE

Florida Alert! Governor DeSantis has SIGNED SB-7030

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Teachers in Florida will now be allowed to go through training and carry firearms on school campuses. READ MORE

florida legislature

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB-7030 within hours after receiving it. SB-7030 contains the language that authorizes local school boards to allow classroom teachers to go through training and carry firearms on school campuses.

News reports suggested that “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” and another Bloomberg group, “Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” were apparently pushing on Governor DeSantis to veto SB-7070 — the wrong bill.

According to News Service Florida, the “Demand” groups delivered a stack of signatures to the Governor’s office urging the Governor to veto a bill that would arm classroom teachers. It further reported that a DeSantis employee was asked by the group to tell the Governor to veto SB-7070 because it expanded the “guardian” program. THAT’S THE WRONG BILL!

Not only is their anti-gun reasoning flawed, their legislative information is wrong. SB-7070 is the K-12 Education Bill.

We are pleased that Governor DeSantis signed SB-7030.

When seconds matter, law enforcement is often minutes away. That’s why the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission, Chaired by Sheriff Bob Gualtiere, recommended to the legislature that they pass legislation to allow classroom teachers to be armed.

BACKGROUND:

SB-7030 Implementation of Legislative Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission – Requires sheriffs to establish a school guardian program; requires the Office of Safe Schools to annually provide training for specified personnel teachers; requires district school boards and school district superintendents to partner with security agencies to establish or assign safe-school officers; revises requirements for school district zero-tolerance policies; provides standards and training for classroom teachers who choose to go through training in order to be armed at school.

The vote in the House was 65 – 47 with five (5) Republicans voting AGAINST the bill. The five are all newly elected freshmen. They are: Vance Aloupis (R-Miami), Mike Beltran (R-Valrico), Mike Caruso (R-Boca Raton), Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) and David Smith (R-Winter Springs).

The Senate vote was 22-17 with Sen. Anitere Flores voting against it (along with the Democrats).

For those who want to contact Governor DeSantis and thank him for signing the bill, his email address is below:

Ron.DeSantis@eog.myflorida.com

New Jersey Governor Hopes to Price Low-Income Residents Out of the Lawful Gun Market

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Proposed firearm-specific tax hikes promise radically higher costs to gun owners. READ MORE

new jersey gun tax

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

It’s no secret that the Garden State is hardly Eden for Second Amendment supporters, who are subjected there to some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation. But now Democrat Gov. Philip D. Murphy is targeting New Jersey’s law-abiding gun owners and would-be gun owners with proposals to increase by several orders of magnitude the mandatory fees state residents must pay to own or carry firearms. These anti-gun taxes would hit low-income residents the hardest, predictably pricing many of them out of the gun market entirely, even though they typically live in the state’s highest crime areas.

As reported in a New York Times article published on April 22, Murphy proposes to hike the fees for a firearm identification card from $5 to $100, a permit to own a firearm from $2 to $50, and a permit to carry a firearm from $20 to $400.

He additionally wants to impose excise taxes of 2.5% on firearms and 10% on ammunition.

The article states that although Murphy “is prohibited by state law from directing the new revenue toward specific programs,” he insisted “it would go toward anti-violence initiatives.”

The Times article mentions no evidence that Murphy’s plan would have any beneficial effect on violent crime, going so far as to say that “gun control advocates and researchers” were “not certain” that “higher fees alone would reduce violence.”

Indeed, as we have noted many times before, criminals typically go outside legitimate retail markets to obtain the firearms used in their offenses.

But research by economist John Lott reveals the most predictable outcome of raising fees for firearm-related permits, licenses, and mandatory training is simply to suppress the number of people who lawfully exercise their Second Amendment rights. Because fewer people can afford to participate in lawful gun markets, moreover, the promised funding for anti-violence initiatives never materializes. Meanwhile, the costs of policing low-income neighborhoods where law-abiding residents are disarmed may well increase.

All this presumably is not lost on Gov. Murphy, who believes imposing affirmative steps for voter registration (such as obtaining a state-issued ID) is tantamount to “voter suppression.” He can hardly escape the conclusion that punitive taxes aimed specifically at law-abiding firearm purchasers, especially when heaped upon the considerable delays and bureaucratic procedures New Jersey requires simply to keep a firearm in one’s home, are an even more drastic form of suppression.

Murphy’s proposals are so drastic and patently discriminatory that even some of his normally anti-gun Democrat colleagues are not enthusiastic. The Times quotes Democrat Stephen M. Sweeney, Senate President, as stating, “Just to check a box to say you did something, I’m not sure that’s necessary. I don’t think it’s going to raise a lot of money.” Former Colorado governor and current Democrat presidential candidate John Hickenlooper agreed in the Times article that raising costs would “reduce” participation in otherwise lawful activity. “But I’m not sure that’s the right way to make policy,” he admitted.

Murphy himself, however, seems unburdened by such concerns, proving that he’s just as comfortable with hypocrisy and double standards as he is with infringing the Second Amendment rights of New Jersey residents.

 

NRA Statement on New York City’s Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

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New York City asks the U.S. Supreme Court to take a break in reviewing NYC’s anti-second-amendment policies… That’s NOT how the Supreme Court works! READ MORE

supreme court

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in regards to last Friday’s attempt by the City of New York to dismiss the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al.:

“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years. Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process — the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect. This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. The City of New York did not respect its citizens’ Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward. We are confident that the Court will reject New York’s desperate attempt to avoid review of its blatantly unconstitutional laws.”

UPDATE! Judge who blocked California’s ban on high-capacity magazines halts their sales for now…

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The same judge threw out the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines last week as infringing on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. READ MORE

high capacity magazine

SOURCE: NBC

EDITORS NOTE: Just after running the story last week here in Midsouth, there was a development, and here it is:

A federal judge on Friday halted sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines in California, giving state officials a chance to appeal his order last week that allowed their sale for the first time in nearly 20 years.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez barred further sales until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers whether to reinstate the state’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets.

But the judge said those who bought the extended magazines since his initial order a week ago may keep them without fear of being prosecuted while the appeal proceeds.

Hundreds of thousands of gun owners may have bought the magazines since Benitez threw out the state’s ban last week as infringing on their Second Amendment right to bear arms, said Chuck Michel, an attorney for the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle & Pistol Association who filed the lawsuit that led to the ruling.

Under Benitez’s order, no one in California is permitted to manufacture, import, buy or sell large-capacity magazines as of 5 p.m. Friday.

California has prohibited such magazines since 2000, though people who had the magazines before then were allowed to keep them. Benitez last week threw out both the 2000 law and a 2016 law and ballot measure banning possession even by those who had owned them legally.

“All the people who bought the magazines in the last week are protected from prosecution, but any further purchase of these magazines is illegal for the moment,” Michel said. “There was 20 years of pent up demand for these self-defense tools, and several hundred thousand people bought them in the last week, maybe more than several hundred thousand.”

Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who sought the stay, warned in a court filing that it would be difficult for the state to remove the newly purchased magazines, even if the ban is reinstated.

“California leads the nation when it comes to common-sense gun laws. We should all be ensuring the safety of our communities, not fighting against long-standing laws that improve public safety,” Becerra said in a statement. He added that he’s confident the ban is constitutional.

Benitez acknowledged in his six-page stay order that other judges, in California and elsewhere, have upheld bans on high-capacity magazines.

“The Court understands that strong emotions are felt by people of good will on both sides of the Constitutional and social policy questions. The Court understands that thoughtful and law-abiding citizens can and do firmly hold competing opinions on firearm magazine restrictions,” he wrote.

“These concerns auger in favor of judicial deliberation. There is an immeasurable societal benefit of maintaining the immediate status quo while the process of judicial review takes place.”

Colorado Red Flag Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk, But Sheriff’s Concerns Linger Over Gun Confiscation

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Sheriff Steve Reams, who serves a Colorado county opposed to gun legislation, takes a firm stance against what he sees as an unconstitutional new law. READ MORE

Sheriff Steve Reams
Sheriff Steve Reams.

SOURCE: Fort Collins Coloradoan, by Nick Coltrain; CNN, by Bryan Howard, photo by Ken Tillis

Colorado houses controlled by Democrats, passed a new red flag bill HB19- 1177. This bill will allow the state government to take away guns from anyone they want for no legal reasons. However, one Colorado Sheriff is standing up to these tyrannical politicians claiming he will not enforce the new law and is willing to go to jail over it.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said, “It’s a matter of doing what’s right.” He has also said, “If you pass an unconstitutional law, our oaths as commissioners or myself as the sheriff — we’re going to follow our constitutional oath first. And we’ll do that balancing act on our own.”

Reams stated on Monday, “It’s unlike any other red flag bill that has been introduced anywhere in the United States. The issue is the person who is having their guns taken away isn’t aware of this hearing taking place. They find out about the hearing after the fact.”

Reams has said, “I’m not bluffing,” when he said he will not enforce the bill.

According to CNN, all 64 counties in Colorado oppose the anti second amendment law that will be enforced onto them, and about half of those have passed resolutions opposing the bill, symbolically declaring their counties “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” That list includes Weld County, Reams jurisdiction.

Reams could potentially face jail if a judge ordered his department to seize a person’s firearms; if Reams refused, he could face contempt of court charges.

Reams outlined concerns similar to those raised by Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and the Larimer County Commissioners in the lead up to the bill’s passage: It violates due process and other Constitutional rights, it takes away people’s home defense, it’s logistically difficult for sheriff’s offices that aren’t equipped to keep and return the guns, and it addresses a symptom of a mental health crises, instead of a person’s overall mental health.

“If they’re such a significant risk to themselves that they shouldn’t have a gun, my feeling is the better focus is dealing with the person,” Reams said. “So let’s look at a mental health hold or something along those lines.”

He called for instead reducing the requirements to place someone in a mental health hold, and increasing the requirements for freeing that person. State statute regarding mental health holds currently requires the person to represent an imminent danger to their self or others; Reams would like it to be closer to the lower threshold of a significant threat included in the red flag bill.

“The thought process of denying someone, or taking that object away and it being a way to make them safe, it misses the root problem,” Reams said. “Mental health is where we should be focused, and we just keep passing that buck along, keep kicking that can along, and that’s where I want to see that investment go.”

To be clear, Sheriff Reams doesn’t want to go to jail. He’d much rather the issues he sees with the bill be sussed out and the attention be shifted to helping those in mental health crises.

“(Going to jail is) the absolute last thing I’d like to do,” Reams said in an interview with the Coloradoan following a CNN story headlined “This Colorado sheriff is willing to go to jail rather than enforce a proposed gun law.” See it HERE 

“I’d much rather see this get worked out in the courts and dealt with in the courts before it ever comes to that point,” Reams told the Coloradoan. “But if and when the time comes, and this issue hasn’t been worked out in the courts, then, yeah, this is the last choice that I have.”

The bill allows family, members of the household or law enforcement to petition a court to have an individual’s guns seized or surrendered. A similar bill was stifled by the Republican-controlled Senate last year. The new Democratic legislature was able to move it through, and Gov. Polis, also a Democrat, has pledged to sign the measure into law.

“This bill will give law enforcement and families the tools that they need to stop tragedies from constantly happening and save lives,” said first-term Rep. Tom Sullivan, who sponsored the bill with House Majority Leader Alec Garnett.

Reams said he saw the conflict in enforcing state law versus respecting people’s Constitutional rights — and not just the headline-grabbing right to bear arms. He cited concerns with unlawful search and seizure, due process and equal protections clauses as well.

“It turns the Fourth, the Fifth, and the 14th amendment on their heads,” he said. “It does things so backwards from what we understand about due process. Anyone who looks at this with an honest eye has to have concerns. The Second Amendment is the easy thing to say is under attack, and that’s a portion of it, but that’s not the main portion. But it doesn’t resonate in headlines to say we’re defending the 14th Amendment.”

Several law enforcement officials testified for the bill, named after Zackari Parrish, a 29-year old sheriff’s deputy in Douglas County. The husband and father was shot and killed in a New Year’s Eve 2017 shooting by a man who had exhibited increasingly erratic behavior.

State Attorney General Phil Weiser, a Democrat, has said sheriffs who don’t want to enforce the measure should resign. Gov. Polis said on March 26 that he believes sheriffs are committed to enforcing laws approved at the Capitol. Polis also said sheriffs have discretion to decide which issues to focus on.

Reams said he wouldn’t resign in protest over the bill because he was elected to do the job of sheriff. Most of the constituent feedback he’s heard has been positive, he said.

“If I were to walk away in protest, or resign in protest, I’d be saying I’m not in it for the fight,” Reams said.

The red flag bill is the first major gun legislation to make its way through both Colorado legislative chambers since 2013, when lawmakers passed universal background checks and banned large-capacity ammunition magazines after the mass shootings in Aurora and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Thirteen other states have passed similar legislation. Florida passed its version after the 2018 Parkland school massacre.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.