Colorado officials were quick to respond to President Barack Obama's plan to use his presidential powers to enact tighter gun control laws, after a plea for Congress to work together never came to pass.
“The President’s latest executive action violates the Constitutional mandate that Congress create the laws while the President only enforces them," said Colorado Rep. Ken Buck. "If the President wants to start enforcing laws that are already on the books, he should start protecting our border,” Buck stated.
Visibly emotional, Obama reassured Americans he was not coming after anybody's guns.
"This is not a plot to take away everybody's guns," Obama said in a ceremony in the East Room. "You pass a background check, you purchase a firearm. The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules."
At one point, Obama shed tears recalling the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. "Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad," Obama said.
Obama's plan for executive action was met with criticism not just by the National Rifle Association which accused him of using law-abiding gun owners as scapegoats, but also by some Colorado representatives like Mike Coffman.
"This President has just demonstrated, once again, that he has no respect for representative government nor for the limitations that our Constitution places on the powers of his office," Coffman said.
Justin Smith, the Larimer County Sheriff had more than few words to say after his department received a forwarded message from the Department of Justice:
After reading their words, let me add even a little more insight into the issue of mandating that everyday, private citizens become become federally licensed firearms dealers. (FFL)
Many Coloradans may, at first, mistakenly believe that the state's mandatory transfer background check will exempt them from the president's actions. From my read, that is not correct.
Colorado does not consider you a commercial firearms dealer if you sell two guns. State law mandates that a private citizen conduct a background transfer check through an FFL. However, the proposed executive action from the president also holds over your head that if his agents decide that your selling of 2 firearms in a year makes you a commerical firearms dealer and you conduct those sales without an FFL, you are subject to 5 years in a federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines!
I think it's reasonable to conclude that this proposed action will have the net effect of coercing millions of everyday gun owners into applying for FFLs, which they puts them under very strict scrutiny of the federal government- requiring tedious reporting.
The major gun control advocacy groups have a long range goal of registering every single firearm in the country. (in their lingo, that's "sensible gun safety regulations".)
The president's proposed executive actions are simply another step down the path towards that goal. Not a huge step, but a small step they hope will go unnoticed.
The American citizenry would be foolish to stand by and quietly allow that to happen. Not only must we defend the Bill of Rights, but we must also defend the orginal articles of the Constitutions (Articles 1, 2 and 3 come to mind.)
When we lived in Estes Park a few years ago, our home was just down the street from the intersection of Lexington and Concord. For some reason, I feel closer to Lexington and Concord than even before.
On the other end of the spectrum, there were those who favored Obama's executive actions.
“Background checks keep guns out of the wrong hands. In Colorado, expanded background checks prevented more than 27,000 illegal purchases since 2012, including more than 100 denials based on prior arrest or conviction of homicide. The President’s orders are an important step in saving lives across the country," said Colorado governor John Hickenlooper.
While not a Colorado government official, Sandy Phillips, the mother of Aurora Theater shooting victim Jessica Ghawi, tweeted from the White House regarding Obama's call to end gun violence.
— Sandy Phillips (@MamaRedfield) January 6, 2016
Obama's package of executive actions aims to curb what he's described as a scourge of gun violence in the U.S., punctuated by appalling mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Charleston, South Carolina; and Tucson, Arizona, among many others. After Newtown, Obama sought far-reaching, bipartisan legislation that went beyond background checks.
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