Skip to comments.Colorado DA Refuses to Prosecute Flood Victims for Private Firearm Transfers
Posted on 10/06/2013 6:29:24 PM PDT by neverdem
Back in February and March, NRA-ILA warned that Colorado's House Bill 1229(PDF), criminalizing the private transfer of firearms, was overbroad, and would unduly burden and ensnare law-abiding citizens. Lo and behold, less than seven months after Gov. Hickenlooper signed HB 1229, some victims of September's devastating floods are fearful of being prosecuted under the new law.
According to an article published in the Greeley Tribune of Greeley, Colo., residents of Weld County, Colo. contacted Weld District Attorney Ken Buck with concerns that if they were to store their firearms with family or friends while cleaning or rebuilding their flood ravaged homes they could face prosecution for an illegal firearms transfer. While the new statute contains very limited exceptions for things like "bona fide gift[s] between immediate family members," it does not exempt the temporary transfer of a firearm for safekeeping at someone else's property.
To assuage the fears of his constituents, in a September 30th press release(PDF), Buck announced that he will not prosecute anyone experiencing such hardship. Buck is quoted in the press release as stating, "It would be unconscionable to require those affected by the floodwaters to obtain a background check And it would be equally unconscionable to prosecute them under these circumstances. This is an example of the consequences of laws that are overbroad and not well thought out and illustrates how such laws can harm residents' rights."
On the same date, Buck sent a letter(PDF) to the police chiefs of Weld County and Weld Sheriff John Cooke, alerting them to his position. The letter makes clear to the law enforcement agencies, "the District Attorney's Office will not accept for prosecution any allegation that an individual failed to obtain a background check prior to transferring a firearm under these emergency circumstances." In response, Sheriff Cooke, who has joined with 54 other Sheriffs in a lawsuit challenging Colorado's new gun laws, told the Greeley Tribune regarding the flood victims, "They want to get (their guns), and they're going to give them to a friend, and to think that Colorado law just made those people criminals by giving them to a friend without getting a background check victimizes them all over again... It's just callous and wrong."
The recent experience in Colorado serves as another example, along with that of New York's SAFE Act, of the effects of hastily drafted and impulsive legislation that fails to consider the realities faced by the gun owning public. If there is a silver lining to these attacks on gun owners, it is the willingness of local law enforcement, as in Colorado, New York and Illinois(PDF), to stand up to their state governments by fighting, or refusing to enforce, unjust and unconstitutional laws, in order to protect the rights of their constituents.
We applaud the words and deeds of District Attorney Buck and Sheriff Cooke, and encourage other law enforcement officials in those areas of Colorado affected by flooding to follow suit in offering their assurance that gun owners facing similar hardship will not face prosecution.
Selective enforcement is tyranny.
The DA is doing the right thing.
Perhaps due to the recent recalls?
Who cares, the DA would be an ass to prosecute.
We should all be able to give ourselves exemptions to laws we find to be retarded.
Would have been much better for him to announce that in his opinion the statue is unconstitutional as his basis for declining to enforce it regardless of the reason for the temporary transfer.
Wow, one of the quickest Progressive “unintended consequences” moments to bite the public in the a$$ in recent times!
Buck is an R who I expect will give wide latitude not to prosecute in any case involving HB 1229.
That ought to piss off Gov Stupid!!!
He could claim that 0bama is setting the pace on ignoring law provisions that are inconvenient and the DA is just following established legal practice.
It's like when a patrolman pulls you over - if he wants you, he's got you.
There is always some law on the books you are guilty of breaking.
The liberals have turned the USA into a police state.
"Show me the man, and I'll show you the crime."
-- Lavrentiy Beria (head of USSR secret police under Joseph Stalin)
BS , also ,
it could be a setup!
Gun control don't go 'round here, law dogs!
Heh heh. Gun control don't fly with our law dogs.
Sorry, whether right or wrong, this is what is going on now in the Federal Government. They are only enforcing laws that they agree with rather than follow the Constitution.
Maybe it’s time for States to do their own selective enforcement and see how this turns out.
It means that we are no longer a Country of laws. We have become a Country or State of selective enforcement - only laws we like. We have lost our Republic!
That is exactly what the El Paso County Sheriff has stated publicly. He has said the “universal background check” law and the magazine law are un-enforceable (as well as flawed and flat out wrong). He has stated he has no intention of enforcing them. Well, he said he does not plan on wasting any County resources trying to enforce laws that he and his deputies will find nearly impossible to enforce. “You’re holding your friends firearm(s)? How long have you had them?” Right, how can he prove any answer true/false? “That 30 round magazine, when did you purchase it?” - Well, since there are no dates of manufacture nor serial numbers on them... Unless you grab a Deputy and drive to Santa Fe with them to purchase mags...
Somebody learned a lesson!!!
you want to trust Me?
This sort of selective enforcement is common sense. Zero tolerance rules that suspend a child for eating a poptart into the shape of a gun and claiming they have no leeway is tyranny.
There is nothing remotely new about selective enforcement of the law.