Mesa County set to back sheriffs’ gun-control suit

Mesa County commissioners are poised to adopt a resolution in support of a lawsuit — brought by 55 Colorado sheriffs, including Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey — that challenges two newly passed state gun-control laws.

The item is on the agenda for the board’s regular Monday meeting, and the county is hoping citizens show up to offer their opinions.

“Please attend and comment,” tweeted Commissioner Rose Pugliese on Friday.

The resolution before them supports the lawsuit, which was signed onto by all but seven Colorado county sheriffs and centers on two of the new gun laws — outlawing firearms magazines of more than 15 rounds and imposing universal background checks before sales or transfers.

The lawsuit calls them “vague, overreaching and unenforceable” and says they “unconstitutionally infringe rights of law-abiding citizens as outlined in the Second and Fourteenth amendments of the U.S. Constitution.”

The possibility of having Mesa County Attorney Lyle Dechant file amicus briefs, in support of the lawsuit, during the course of future litigation is also raised in the resolution under consideration.

Language in the resolution charges that the new laws “impose … unworkable, unfunded and expensive mandates on county sheriffs.”

The commissioners’ regular administration hearing begins at 9:05 a.m.  Mondays in the public hearing room, 544 Rood Ave. downtown.

A recent meeting in Glenwood Springs about the lawsuit included a number of sheriffs, such as Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, and David Kopel of the Independence Institute, which sponsored the suit.

“What we’re looking at is a slow, methodical, intentional taking away of our rights,” Vallario was quoted as saying. “It’s not just the Second Amendment but I believe it’s most of the Bill of Rights.”


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