Weld County Sheriff John Cooke refuses to enforce impending gun control laws

Says background checks, magazine limits won't help

GREELEY, Colo. - Weld County Sheriff John Cooke says he refuses to enforce two gun control measures that are expected to become law.

Cooke says that Democratic lawmakers are scrambling after recent mass shootings in the country, and the bills are "feel-good, knee-jerk reactions that are unenforceable,” according to The Greeley Tribune.

One bill expands background checks on firearm purchases and the other limits ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign the measures into law in the next two weeks.

Cooke says the bill requiring a $10 background check to legally transfer a gun wouldn't keep firearms out of the hands of those who use them for violence. And the other bill will technically ban all magazines because of a provision that outlaws any magazine that can be altered. He says all magazines can be altered to a higher capacity.

Cooke told the newspaper that the laws would “give a false sense of security.”

“Criminals are still going to get their guns,” he told the newspaper.

Cooke is not alone.

The Weld County sheriff also said that he and other Colorado sheriffs are considering filing a lawsuit against the state to try and block the measures, according to the newspaper. He said that it would be impossible to keep track of gun owners and ensure that they are meeting requirements.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has also refused to enforce some gun control measures, saying he will not enforce some new gun control laws being considered in Colorado after he accused Democrats of extortion.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said he won't enforce any federal gun control measures he considers unconstitutional.