Bloomberg News: Article:
By Jennifer Oldham – Mar 25, 2013
Just days after Governor John Hickenlooper signed Colorado’s toughest gun-control laws in more than a decade, some sheriffs are denouncing them as unenforceable, even in a state that has seen two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
The county-level officers say measures limiting ammunition magazines to 15 rounds and requiring background checks for firearm purchases are impossible to carry out because they’re poorly written and don’t clearly define the elements of a crime.
“I’ve taken a stance that I will refuse to enforce any law that violates peoples’ constitutional rights,” said Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensminger, based in Divide, about 26 miles (42 kilometers) west of Colorado Springs, the state’s second- largest city.
“We can’t figure out how these laws would be enforced at this point in time without violating someone’s constitutional rights,” Ensminger said in a telephone interview. “If the elements of the crime are confusing and don’t make sense, it’s going to be difficult to enforce those laws for fear the defendant would turn around and bring a lawsuit against the county.”
The stance reflects the view of hundreds of rural law- enforcement officials in states from California to Maryland who publicly proclaimed in the weeks following the massacre at Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School that they would defy new gun laws in the name of protecting their constituents’ right to bear arms. That divide persists throughout the U.S. as the debate over tightened gun restrictions plays out in Congress and statehouses.
‘Unconstitutional’ Actions ==> <article continues>
Tags: In the News, Legal News, Colorado gun laws, Littleton, Colorado