Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 41 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Several Colorado Sheriffs Say They Won’t Enforce Red Flag Laws

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

CBS.

Dozens of Colorado sheriffs are ready to defy the law, including Steve Reams of Weld County, which is now a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” He says his first responsibility is to the U.S. Constitution. “There are portions of the law I just flat out can’t and won’t do,” he told Pelley.  “I’ll support the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution of the state of Colorado and then, I’ll enforce the laws of the state of Colorado. When those things are in conflict you know you have to decide which one you are going to adhere to,” Reams said.

“When those things are in conflict.”  It sounds as if he understands the true nature of this, his mind is made up, and he’s a patriot.  Let’s see.

Reams acknowledges he could go to jail for defying the law, but if it comes to that he says he would file a lawsuit, “We’ll determine at that point if this Red Flag law is constitutional.”

Not so much, eh?  That’s the trouble with sanctuary cities or counties, state preemption of federal laws, or LEOs who say they won’t enforce unconstitutional laws.  Fulfilling that commitment is a test of character.

State preemption of the FedGov means arresting FedGov agents who attempt to enforce unconstitutional laws, not just refusing to enforce them yourself.  Sanctuary cites and counties must see this as more than a badge, statement protest.

This Sheriff wants to do the right thing, only as long as a black-robed tyrant tells him it’s okay.  His character is only good so far, and then he has to feed his family and stay out of prison.

And thus unconstitutional edicts win.  The way they always have, with tyrants who bully lieutenant tyrants into doing their will.

Colorado AG Tells Sheriffs To Resign Or Enforce Red Flag Law

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 2 weeks ago

Via David Codrea, news from Colorado:

It’s not even the law yet, but state Attorney General Phil Weiser is already telling sheriffs to resign if they follow locals laws passed in 26 counties that declared themselves 2nd Amendment sanctuaries.

But wait, there’s more.

Weiser blinked.

He also said this during his testimony in favor of the bill at a state Senate committee meeting:

“Any commission that says ‘I don’t want my sheriff upholding an unconstitutional law,’ they’re on solid ground,” Weiser said, adding that he expects the question to go before a court.

But Weiser, whose job it is to defend Colorado statutes, says he believes that if the red flag bill becomes law as expected and is challenged, it will be found to be constitutional and therefore must be enforced.

So county commissions passing the sanctuary laws and the sheriff’s following that order, are totally within the law to thumb their nose once the state bill becomes law, Weiser concedes.

And the bill is certain to become law, once it skips through a second state Senate panel and floor passage, and Gov. Polis signs it.

But the sheriffs have wiggle room until the constitutionality is tested in what could be a lengthy court battle.

I’m not certain he has the authority to demand enforcement of anything, much less something that runs so afoul of the constitution.  Exactly how he would enforce his edict that Sheriffs enforce red flag laws isn’t clear because he doesn’t say.

What is he going to do – send the state police after Sheriffs in 2A sanctuary counties?  LEO versus LEO?  What is he going to do if Sheriffs completely ignore the edicts of a judge – send state police after Sheriffs?  LEO versus LEO?  Frankly, he sounds like a lawyer that’s gotten a little too big for his britches.  He needs to be knocked down a notch or three.

Colorado Red Flag Bill A Treacherous Mine Field

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 1 week ago

This is a bit wordy.

DENVER–The “Red Flag” bill moving through the Colorado Legislature has been the subject of plenty of debate, but as it stands now, for persons against whom even a temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) has been issued, there is a risk they could be trapped into inadvertently violating federal gun control laws.

House Bill 19-1177 requires that at the initial ex parte hearing (where the subject is excluded), and based on a judge finding by a preponderance of the evidence that the person meets the “danger to self or others” standard, a ruling issuing a temporary ERPO and search and seizure warrant to confiscate guns is required.

According to federal regulations provided to Complete Colorado by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) someone is “adjudicated as a mental defective” if found by a “court, board, commission or other lawful authority” to be, among other things, “a risk to himself or others.”

A strict reading of the federal law suggests that a person under any ERPO has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” by a judge and is barred from all gun ownership from the federal perspective.

The potential threat to gun owners is that even if the judge declines to issue the year-long order, there is still an adjudication and a temporary ERPO on record that arguably prohibits people from getting their guns back until another court proceeding required by federal law to relieve that disability is held.

As well, an ERPO that expires without further court action at the end of the statutory time period of 364 days doesn’t meet the standard for relief from the federal gun-ownership disability.

Prior to 2008, a judicial finding that a person was a danger to himself or others permanently revoked a person’s right to keep and bear arms. This disqualified many people suffering from temporary mental health issues from gun ownership for life.

The federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 provides, among other things, a pathway for people who were barred from gun ownership due to temporary mental illness to regain their rights once they are no longer in crisis.

The 2007 federal law says that a state can provide relief from the federal ban by creating a program for granting relief in state law. The law must provide that a “state court, board, commission or other lawful authority” grant the relief.

Colorado passed just such a statute in 2013 that is found at C.R.S. 13-5-142.5

When petitioned, the court may grant relief if it finds the person is “not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the public safety” and that the relief is not “contrary to the public interest.”

The catch is that only persons who have been “found to be incapacitated,” “committed by order of the court” to the custody of the state, or for whom the court has entered an order for short term treatment or for long-term care of a mental health disorder are eligible to petition for relief.

The bill does not address this situation, meaning that the subject of either a temporary or year-long ERPO might not be eligible to petition for relief under existing Colorado law.

Both federal and Colorado statutes say that persons taken in for observation on a 72-hour mental health hold or those who voluntarily admit themselves to a psychiatric facility do not qualify as being “committed to a mental institution,” which is another event that disqualifies gun ownership. But the Colorado ERPO bill doesn’t require a person adjudicated as dangerous to get any mental health treatment at all.

This potentially puts people who are issued temporary ERPOs pending a full hearing, those who are not issued an ERPO at the full hearing and those for whom an ERPO expired without further court action in the position of having to go back to court to relieve the federal prohibition, if they even know they must do so, only to find that they are not eligible to petition for relief under state law.

As I said, it was a bit wordy but I think I’ve got it.  The Colorado law may put people in “no-man’s” land where he can’t even use what little federal relief there is to get his property back or ever purchase firearms again.

But take note of the comment, which pointed me to this startling passage of the bill.

If a family or household member or a law enforcement officer establishes by clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm, the court may issue a continuing ERPO

Taken without any other context – which it would appear the way this passage is posed – it seems to say that mere possession of a firearm, if deemed unsafe by just about anyone connected to the person, can be a justifiable reason to disarm him.

Oh Colorado.  What have you done by letting so many Californians into your home?

Boulder Council: Gun Stores Can’t Issue Certificates To Assault Weapons Owners

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Daily Camera:

Boulder’s two gun stores will not be able to issue certificates to owners of assault weapons that are grandfathered in under the city’s ban on the guns, which took effect last week.

The decision came after a brief discussion among City Council members Tuesday night as they considered tweaks to the ordinance outlawing the sale and possession of assault weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. Boulder, the council and several city officials are being sued in two separate cases challenging the measure.

Five amendments were proposed. On an 8-1 vote, council passed three: Removing an exemption for 30-round handgun magazines that are legal under Colorado law; allowing competitive shooters to travel through Boulder with assault weapons; and clarifying the language so that any individual not allowed to possess firearms under state and federal law could not receive a certificate of ownership.

Council member Mirabai Nagle was the lone dissenting vote. She opposed banning high-capacity handgun magazines that are legal under state law, grandfathered in via a 2013 measure.

“The gun community is not going to turn in their 30-round magazines,” she said, “so we just turned a bunch more people into criminals.”

She also voiced discomfort with disallowing gun stores from issuing certificates of ownership, which she argued would boost compliance. The rest of the council was swayed by arguments from the city attorney and police chief that background checks at private dealers would not be sufficient.

So here’s the picture.  The Form 4473 you signed and the background check you had when you bought the weapon just isn’t good enough.  They want another one, or in other words, they don’t just want another background check.  They want law enforcement to perform a more comprehensive system of checks that will ensure that you’re on a registry to own your “grandfathered” weapon.

And they say that they don’t really want a gun registry!  This whole thing is an exercise in nullification anyway, and the Boulder Council should be thrown out for their violation of Colorado law.

Never register your guns.  Never throw away your magazines.

Is The Hunting Boycott In Colorado Working?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 2 months ago

First, there is this from The Gazette:

Hunters who threatened to boycott Colorado if gun control legislation was approved may have been shooting blanks.

Indeed, so far, numbers are up about 4 percent on draws and sales of leftover licenses have been on target with expectations, said Randy Hampton, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Actual numbers, however, won’t be available until about mid-November, he cautioned.

“The majority of non-resident hunting occurs during our second or third rifle seasons,” Hampton said.

The second season runs from Oct. 19-27 and the third season runs from Nov. 2-10.

The biggest negative impact on license sales may come from flooding in northeastern Colorado.

Then there is this from Red State, albeit a couple of months ago:

The recent gun control measures approved in Colorado have already taken a toll on local individuals, businesses, and  communities throughout the state. Those who work in the outdoor recreation industry, along with entire towns and counties that center around hunting and fishing, have been the first to experience the real economic effect of the new firearm regulations.

Tom Bowers is an outdoor recreation guide and the owner of Colorado’s High Lonesome Outfitter & Guides located in Yampa. Bowers shared with Media Trackers Colorado how the new gun legislation has already affected his business.

“Many of my hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and rafting clients are choosing to recreate in other states because of the new laws. Before the [gun control] legislation passed I got 15-30 calls from potential clients a day, now I get less than 5.”

Eric Layman with Western Colorado Outfitters in Montrose experienced the same drop off in business bookings, reservations, and correspondence as Bowers.

In a normal year, Bowers and his High Lonesome Outfitters guide between 35 and 40 big game hunters. This year, he said he would be lucky to get 20-25. One big game client, whom he has served as a guide for 15 years, told Bowers that he will not be rebooking or coming back to Colorado. Bowers recalled the conversation with the client, who told him: “It is not because of you, it is because of your Governor. I am not giving any money to that state”.

Bowers’ clients who booked before the new laws still plan to come this season, but many of them have told him it will be the last time they come to Colorado for any kind of outdoor recreation, even beyond hunting.

As such, Bower’s losses are not limited to hunting, as he attests to the fact that many of the fisherman and rafters he guides will no longer be returning to Colorado to recreate either.  He explained:  “Now we are a gun control state. My type of clients think if they come to the state of Colorado they are going to be violating gun laws.”

Layman, from Western Colorado Outfitters, echoed the fact that the boycott is spreading far beyond the hunting crowd, saying that while “the hunter forums show comments indicating that the boycott is in full effect, even summer visitors and skiers are joining in.”

I wouldn’t otherwise even bring this up, except that the Gazette article comes off as so snarky, superior and insulting that it caught my attention.

It might be difficult to tell at this stage of the season, but I would appreciate any input from readers (in the comments or send me an e-mail) with either anecdotal evidence or statistical information concerning the boycott.

Adventures In Nullification

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 5 months ago

ABC News, Denver:

GREELEY, Colo. – Weld County commissioners have voted to unanimously to approve an ordinance restricting the creation of local gun control measures.

The County Commissioners object to gun control measures passed during the most recent legislative session and signed into law by the Governor. Among other things, the new laws limit the amount of ammunition in magazines, adds a background check requirement for private sales, creates a fee for background checks and requires concealed carry permit classes be taken in person.

Although the county commissioners can’t override state law, all five commissioners voted to approve an ordinance that prevents the county from further restricting gun rights. The protections in Weld County Code Ordinance 2013-4 establish tit for tat protections directly opposed to the new state laws.

“What we did today was take the strongest action legally according to our county attorney that we could take,” said Commissioner Sean Conway. “I think it’s a start. I think it tells our citizens that this board is very concerned with the action that was undertaken by the legislature and was signed into law.”

The article is a little short on details, but it would be nice if they would disavow any lawsuit and focus not on what they can’t do, but what they can do.  They can dispatch the local sheriff to prohibit enforcement of the new state law and let the chips fall where they may.

Does Colorado Gun Tax Revenue Compensate For The Boycott?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

Denver Post:

In time, President Barack Obama and Gov. John Hickenlooper may be considered the greatest gun salesmen since Remington and Winchester. And, in turn, they could be viewed as colossal contributors to federal and state habitat and wildlife programs.

According to a Congressional Research Service report published this spring by natural resource and economic policy specialists M. Lynne Corn and Jane G. Gravelle, fears spurred from “recent debate over guns, gun rights and gun-related violence” have generated a spike in sales of guns and ammunition. As a result, the federal excise tax known as the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, which funds state projects to benefit wildlife resources and hunter education, reached a record $555.3 million in fiscal year 2012, an increase of 43 percent over the $388 million generated the year before.

“With reports of surges in gun sales due to current controversies over guns rights and gun-related violence, substantially more funds seem likely to be available in FY2014,” the report states.

Funny enough, the previous single-year record for the excise tax placed on guns, ammunition and archery equipment was $474 million in 2009-10, which was credited primarily to Obama’s first election.

There is a poetic justice, from the wildlife management perspective, in record funds appropriated to our state in the face of a threatened boycott of hunting in Colorado this fall in protest of gun control laws recently signed by the governor. Even after accounting for a 5 percent federal cut because of sequestration, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s slice of the Pittman-Robertson pie will bump up from $9.3 million in 2012 to $13.1 million in 2013.

Although any impact of a boycott isn’t likely to be known before next year, the current gush in gun and ammunition sales offers promising compensation for any loss of income from licenses. It is important to recognize, though, that Pittman-Robertson funds must be used specifically for projects benefiting wildlife resources and hunter education programs.

This is a fascinating analysis on multiple levels.  To the author, it’s “poetic justice” that Colorado would benefit from the gun laws and boycott.  But only someone who thinks this way would even consider equating justice and economic benefit with revenues to the government for hunter education programs and one department’s slice of the pie versus other departments.

To be sure, there are many small businesses who will suffer in the wake of the boycott, which is more far reaching that the author admits or perhaps even knows.  Additionally, people are purchasing guns for reasons that the author would find troublesome rather than for hunting.

But time and change will serve to educate both the author of this analysis and the authors of the new gun laws.  I am double minded concerning the courtroom challenges to the Colorado gun laws.  On the one hand I want them to succeed, and on the other hand I want Colorado to fail in the wake movement towards totalitarianism.  I am not saying that I want Colorado gun laws to fail – I am saying that I want Colorado to fail.  There is no better or surer teacher than consequences.

Gun Laws: Let The Market Speak

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

David Codrea:

Daniele Perazzi, president of the Italian Perazzi Shotguns firm, was taken into custody yesterday by Adams County Deputies [see update, below] along with several prototype shotguns. The executive was picked up in the parking lot of the Denver Merchandise Mart, hosting the high-end Colorado Gun Collectors show this weekend, after a taxi driver, likely reacting to a suspicious activity reporting outreach program conducted by law enforcement, told authorities he thought he could be transporting an armed “foreign speaking” terror suspect.

Continue reading to find out why the Sheriff asked him to leave town despite the fact that he had done nothing wrong.

Kurt Hofmann:

… the Personalized Handgun Safety Act of 2013, mandates within two years that newly manufactured handguns be equipped with the technology that allows the guns to only work in the hands of their owners or other authorized users. Manufacturers that do not meet the standards could be held liable. And individuals or businesses selling older handguns must have them retrofitted with personalization technology within three years after the bill is enacted, at the expense of the federal government.

This bill has little chance of passing, but even if it did, the author isn’t even smart enough to exempt LEOs, who won’t endorse it without that exemption.  Kurt discusses the law enforcement take on such laws.

Both of these issues fall into the category where I advocate letting the market decide who wins.  Colorado has made their bed and must now lie in it.  They will eventually repudiate their onerous laws when enough industry leaves, enough industry won’t consider coming, and enough gangs begin to terrorize the state, but the rich part is that they will learn by doing rather than by being told what to do.  If I was Mr. Perazzi I wouldn’t waste one more dime or second on Colorado.  I’d never return, and I’d do my best to ensure that my wares were never sold in that state.  We need not fill in the gap for the intentional failures of others.  It interferes with the learning process.

As for smart guns, as I said before, I advocate at least one manufacturer investing significant resources to develop the technology and see how the market treats their brainchild.  Will it be alive and kicking, or stillborn?  Perhaps the Obama administration should spend a billion dollars on such technology.  Will we be able to track another Solyndra in the making?

I’ve already inveighed against smart guns, saying that I’ll buy one when hell freezes over.  Are there enough people out there to make this a worthwhile investment?  In particular, I strongly recommend that H&K be the first one out of the gate.

Prior:

Manufacturers Dabble In Smart Guns

More On Smart Guns

Pushing Smart Guns


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