Democratic-Socialist state Rep. Elisabeth Epps is behaving like a real socialist and launching an assault on the Second Amendment. Once convicted and sentenced to jail time for interfering with police, Epps, who has just been sworn into office, is now interfering with our constitutional rights. A draft of her House Bill, “Prohibition of Assault Weapons in Colorado,” shows Epps aims to ban any person in the state from “possessing, manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership” of specific, everyday guns (she has a long list inside the bill).
Let’s be honest and call this what it is: unconstitutional.
Included in the draft of Epps’ ridiculous bill are semi-automatic pistols — an extremely popular and common type of gun that many women, specifically, use for self-defense. In 2020, the top 10 guns bought by women seeking self-defense were all semi-auto pistols. Coming from Denver, one would think Epps would understand the need for women to defend themselves from Colorado’s soaring violent crime rates. Apparently not.
If a property owner has a personal shooting range that is not licensed by the government (very common in Colorado), he would now be banned from allowing a friend to shoot any of the weapons listed by Epps — unless the friend personally owns the gun.
Importantly, Epps offers no definition of the word “possess.” Merely holding an item means you are in possession of it. Therefore, since she offers no other definition, if a person goes to his friend’s house and holds any of the weapons listed in Epps’ bill, he is in possession, and both people are now committing a crime. Merely picking up a gun at your friend’s house will now make you both criminals if Epps’ bill passes.
If you already own one of these weapons, you’re still not in the clear. If, for example, you’ve allowed a friend or family member to borrow it (again, very common in Colorado), you’ll have to turn your gun over to a law enforcement officer who asks. The only way you can keep a gun you legally own is if you have “maintained continuous possession” of it. Many Colorado gun owners have let friends and family members borrow their guns at some point. Furthermore, think back to the fact that Epps refuses to define the word “possess.” If you’ve let someone even use your gun, you’ve arguably failed to maintain “continuous possession” and may have already lost your right to own it if this bill becomes law.
A failure to define terms in a new, far-reaching law, is a failure to protect rights. As an attorney herself, Epps knows this, and is purposefully launching an all-out assault on the Second Amendment.
We must stand up and fight against this unconstitutional legislation.
Finally, if you’ve ever held any of the guns Epps lists in her very lengthy bill, you’re considered a danger to Colorado. She says that these guns “in civilian hands endanger Colorado’s…communities at large.” It’s no longer violent criminals who put us all in danger. It’s no longer Epps herself — who’s actually served jail time for committing a crime. It’s YOU. If you’ve ever put your hands on one of these guns, Epps and her Democrat allies condemn you as dangerous.
In her own bill, Epps states that 44% of mass shootings have involved a handgun. It’s blatantly clear that she is setting the stage for her and her far-left comrades to try and ban those next.
Socialists and convicted criminals like Elisabeth Epps sadly will never stop trampling on Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights. That’s why it’s critical that everyday, principled citizens who value our rights and our constitution step up and join us in this fight.
Epps and those on the far, socialist left are the real dangers to society, and crime — not moms and dads trying to defend themselves — is where this legislature should be focusing its time.
Kristi Burton Brown is the chair of the Colorado Republican Party and a constitutional attorney.