Felony charge faces man accused of leaving threatening voicemail about gun control for a senator

DENVER - A second person faces a felony charge for threatening a Democratic state lawmaker over the gun control bills passed earlier this month.

David Cassidy, 59, is accused of calling a cell phone belonging to a state senator and leaving a threatening message on a voicemail belonging to Sen. Andrew Kerr, of Lakewood, on March 4, according to Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough. Cassidy's message allegedly intended to intimidate or harass the senator.

"Sir, you and the rest of the Communist Democrats down there are going to regret what you're doing. Either by ballots or bullets, we are going to get you out of office. So, do the right thing, Andy," the message said, according to an affidavit.

"Senator Kerr explained that when he heard the caller speak the words 'ballots or bullets' his 'stomach sank,'" the affidavit continued.

Because of the message, Kerr alerted the administrators of his children's school, Colorado State Patrol and the Majority Leader's office.

The State Patrol traced the phone number to Cassidy's address and gave the information to Denver police. The affidavit notes that when an detective was sent to the address he saw a Rocky Mountain Gun Owners sticker on Cassidy's car.

When two detectives interviewed Cassidy on March 8, the affidavit says he admitted to leaving the voicemail but said he "did not mean it in a threatening manner."

Cassidy said he participated in a "honk and wave" protest outside the State Capitol on March 1.

"Those Democrats down there are Communists," Cassidy also told the detectives. "They are going to cause people to not trust their government."

Cassidy was formally advised of the charges against him Tuesday, Kimbrough said. He was released on $5,000 bond.

On Wednesday night, Cassidy told 7NEWS, "I think it was misconstrued.  I didn't mean it as a threat."  Cassidy said the message was meant in a historical context.

The next scheduled hearing in this case is in Denver County Courtroom 2100 on , April 15 at 8:30 a.m.

 

-- Franklin Sain --

The first person charged with threatening a lawmaker over gun control was Franklin Sain, a 42-year-old tech executive.

Sain was accused of sending threatening emails, voicemails and a letter to Rep. Rhonda Fields, of Aurora, who sponsored some of the gun control legislation.

Sain was charged with attempt to influence a public servant and a misdemeanor charge of harassment-ethnic intimidation.

His attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, the emails are protected by free speech and that Sain denies writing the letter.

Prosecutors said the charges allege that between Feb. 13, 2013 and Feb. 21, Sain sent numerous threatening emails and a voice mail message with the intent to alter or affect Fields' opinion or action.

In one message, Sain allegedly told Fields he hoped someone would "Gifords" (sic) her, an apparent reference to the shooting and wounding of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Sain was the chief operating officer at SofTec Solutions Inc., an Englewood information technology company that does work for the government and health care companies. The company announced on Facebook that he'd been fired.

 

-- Gun control legislation --

Gun control measures signed into law so far include restrictions on the size of gun magazines, expanding background checks for firearms buyers and adding a fee for background checks for gun transfers. Those three bills were signed by Governor John Hickenlooper on March 20, and become effective July 1.

When he signed the bills, Hickenlooper admitted that the most contentious bill was the proposal dealing with high capacity magazines.

"These high capacity magazines have the potential to turn killers into killing machines," Hickenlooper said. "Even if they are slowed for just a number of seconds, that allows others to escape."

"This bill does not confiscate any firearms," the governor explained. "It does ban the future sale of firearms and magazines that can be readily convertible to accept more than 15 handgun bullets or 28 inches of shotgun shells.

Hickenlooper said high capacity magazines are used in roughly 30 to 40 percent of the police officers killed in the line of duty and in half of the mass killings over the last 130 years.

The governor believes background checks also have great benefit.

"People say to me, criminals aren't stupid they're not going to sign up for background check," Hickenlooper said. "No one told the criminals that."

Hickenlooper said 5,000 gun sales were stopped by background checks last year. Of those, 2,000 people with a violent history were stopped from buying a weapon.

"236 individuals, when they showed up to pick up their newly purchased gun, we arrested them, because there were outstanding arrest warrants for them," said Hickenlooper.

Dudley Brown, with the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said the measures signed are "radical" and "not main stream."

"This is signaling that the Democratic Party does not want gun owners in their party, and that they want to lose the majority," said Brown. "And we're going to make sure they do."

Tony Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association, which is the local chapter of the National Rifle Association, said the magazine limits will cost Colorado jobs and tourist money.

“Hunters will avoid coming here,” Fabian said. “Weapons accessories manufacturers have already threatened to leave.”

Sen. Greg Brophy, (R) Wray, said the bills "result in a bunch of absurdities."

"For instance, I can't loan a hunting rifle to a neighbor I've known for 30 years so he can take it on a week-long hunting trip without getting a background check on him," said Brophy.

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