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Gazette Premium Content Weld Sheriff's refusal to enforce gun rules within letter of the law

RYAN PARKER Updated: March 18, 2013 at 12:00 am

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke says he won't enforce new gun-control measures, and legal experts say he won't be breaking the law.

Colorado police chiefs and sheriffs have local control and prioritizing how laws are enforced is their prerogative. While a lawsuit could be filed compelling Cooke or any other sheriff who declines to apply gun laws now on their way to the governor's desk, it is the voters who will ultimately decide their fates.

"He couldn't be punished for not upholding these laws, but he could be ordered by the court to uphold them," said Richard Collins, a University of Colorado Boulder law professor. "Whether anyone would bring a lawsuit to get the court to order him is pretty uncertain."

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