State lawmakers: Turn In Your Guns or Go to Jail
Next Friday marks the initial deadline for local residents, citizens and property owners to turn over their guns, firearms and all forms weapons to the Teller County Sheriff’s Office and other area agencies.
In addition, local delivery outlets are being set up at the Cripple Creek courthouse and the county’s motor vehicle office in Woodland Park off Research Blvd to coordinate the very important legal weapon data collection process.
With a little luck, most of these guns will be returned to the rightful owners, in a fairly prompt manner, but there are not guarantees. If the weapons are not returned, residents will receive fair compensation. Details are sketchy on how this “just and fair compensation,” will occur.
Residents are advised to take photos of their personal arsenal of weapons, and to submit these to their insurance providers immediately.
This is all part of the new Colorado Guns, Firearms and Weapon Reauthorization law, one of 26 gun control measures considered and approved by state lawmakers in the last few weeks.
“With the tragedies occurring across the state and nation, we just need to know who exactly has guns and firearms in the state, so we can better evaluate our Red Flag laws. There may be a need for an overall statewide weapon reauthorization plan. But right now, we are looking at collecting data,” said Governor Jareid Polize.
Eventually, a weapon re-distribution system could be set up to provide a more equitable playing field among gun owners and distributors, according to the governor’s office. The idea would be to permit more firearms in areas, where active shootings by mentally disturbed individuals are more prominent, and where surges in crime are taking place.
That philosophy could have serious impacts for Teller County, which may experience a 60 percent decline in legal firearms, under the new plan.
“This is what happens when a new out of control, super majority tries to weld their influence at the state Capitol. On the upside, we are confident that we can fight this in court,” said Teller County Commission Chairman Erik Stoine, after testifying for the 75th time, in the last few weeks on a state legislative bill. “We just plan to keep fighting. Luckily, there are less than 50 days remaining in the current legislative session.”’
The concept of turning over weapons, though, has sparked massive protests in a number of rural counties, including Teller. More notably, the bill has generated considerable confusion in Teller County, which sports one of the leading gun ownership rates in the country, on a per capita basis.
“We can’t continue to adopt a one-size fits all mentality regarding new state laws,” said Teller County Commissioner Dan Williames. “There needs to be a Midpoint or End of the Year Course Correction.”
Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesall has taken a hands-off approach. The sheriff has publicly stated that their agency won’t cite anyone for not complying with the new law, one of nearly 70 the governor signed into law last week. Violations of this law can legally amount to a $10,000 fine, per undeclared weapon.
But at the same time, he is urging cooperation, so local officials can counter with their own legislation, aimed at increasing the powers of law enforcement agencies.
“We may just have to wait until the next election to make some needed changes. I plan to promote a regular “Idiot of the Week” watch over which lawmaker is going to do the most damage and say the most outrageous things in violation of our Second Amendment rights.”
The newest law actually gives law enforcement agencies the right to search individual homes, if their officers believe the proper data is not being turned over.
“It looks like we got out of the firearm industry a little too soon,” said Jone DeVou, owner of the former Alpine Firearms store. The former gun store owner predicts secret areas where weapons can be stored. He is predicting a 10-fold escalation of gun purchases.
Gun shop owners agree, and say the opposite effect of what state lawmakers want to achieve will occur.
Eric Walkier, owner of 315 Survival, though, is announcing a new special, sportier firearm, enabling outdoor buffs to carry easily while partaking in a hike or wilderness/mountain excursion, and one that avoids detection from government officials. “Try to catch me,” said Walkier, an expert survival instructor.
Happy April Fools Day!