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DA, others blast gun regulations

March 27, 2013
photo - 
	 Photo by Gazette file
Photo by Gazette file 

Gun control laws recently passed by the Colorado General Assembly were criticized at a town hall meeting held by state Rep. Lois Landgraf in Fountain Wednesday.

“Quite frankly, that’s what this is, window dressing,” said 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May.

Unquestionably, in the wake of the fatal shooting last week in Monument of Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements, residents want to put an end to violence, may said.

The question is, he added, “can you pass laws that effectively go after violence or not? That’s where we have disagreement.”

May, a Republican, spoke at the Fountain Valley Senior Center to more than 100 people who showed up to hear about gun regulations and air their views on what some perceive as threats to the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

The new regulations made changes including limiting the size of ammunition magazines, tightening background check requirements and putting fees in place for background checks.

Speakers in Fountain Wednesday included El Paso County Commission Chairman Dennis Hisey, a Republican, and Fountain’s Deputy Police Bill Elder.

Already, said Landgraf, R-Fountain, people are being hurt.

“Unfortunately we have people who are paying the price for these bills,” she said.

One Fountain business, Great American Pawn, will shut down as a result of the bill limiting the number of rounds in a magazine to 15, she said. A larger business, magazine maker Magpul Industries Inc. also plans to leave the state. The Erie-based company employs 200.

“Nobody cares about our local business,” she said. “Nobody cares about our larger businesses.”

May and Elder said the new regulations will cause huge enforcement issues because of the number of exemptions, how they are written and a conflict with the Constitution.

“We don’t like it either,” Elder said. “We don’t like the burdens it puts on us.”

Some of the legislation “gets to the point of ridiculousness,” including the recently-passed law requiring background checks for the private transfer of weapons, which has 19 pages of exemptions, May said.

The legislation in some cases will end up in court where judges “will have to figure them out,” Hisey predicted.

Gun owners can do something about it, he added, but they may have to wait until the next election.

“Everything we thought that might happen in a worst-case scenario has happened,” he said. “Who you elect does matter. We are ready to do something about this in the next election cycle.”

Landgraf said she’s been criticized by people who say the new laws do not curtail Second Amendment rights.

“They do,” she said. “They do affect your Second Amendment rights and this is a very slippery slope. This is not the end, this is the beginning.”

Next up, she said, could be the confiscation of guns.

Bob Valcik, a Colorado Springs resident and gun owner, said he plans to take their message to the polls.

“I especially want to get those people out who are not worthy of that office,” he said. “It’s just not right. It’s not what our forefathers wanted.”

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