Colorado sheriffs consider lawsuit over new gun control laws

DENVER - More than half of Colorado sheriffs are considering a legal challenge to the state's recently passed gun restrictions.

According to the Denver Post, 37 of the state's 62 elected sheriffs are prepared to sue in an effort to overturn laws that now prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines holding more than 15 rounds and require background checks for all private gun sales.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said some sheriffs oppose legal action, and an association that lobbies for sheriffs has decided not to take part.

"Colorado sheriffs know what dangers their communities face. You see, we enforce the laws to protect our citizens from those who want to steal their property and harm them or their families," Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said. "The problem isn't that we don't have enough laws to protect our community. The problem is that the system doesn't hold criminals accountable for their crimes."

What would help, Smith said, is to provide patrol officers with real-time "access to the information that would allow them to disarm felons in Colorado. Under the current system, officers on the beat have no access to a database or a list of felons who are prohibited by state and federal law from possessing firearms."