Gun rights advocates defeated a controversial “mental health” bill May 2 that would have broadened the definition of mentally ill in an attempt to disarm law-abiding gun owners in the Colorado State Senate.
“This mental health bill is a danger to all gun owners,” said Joe Neville, lobbyist for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Colorado’s largest gun rights group. “This was a backdoor attempt at gun control.”
This legislation expands the definition of “gravely disabled,” going as far as to include those who “lack judgment” in the conduct of their “social relations” to be potentially committed, he said.
This bill would have lowered the bar for how a person can be defined as a threat to themselves or others by changing the law from “imminent danger” to just “danger,” he said.
By removing that one word from the statutes, it makes the law so vague that even the slightest potential threat could make someone a “danger” to society, and result in the loss of their Second Amendment rights, regardless to the imminence of the threat, he said.
For the second time this year, Colorado legislators have attempted to sneak through gun control under the guise of mental health.
Neville said once RMGO caught wind of the first attempt at “mental health” legislation aimed at gun owners, RMGO reached out to their more than 200,000 members in the state and put enough political pressure on legislators to kill the bill.
The second attempt was, again, a quiet passing of the bill in the Democrat-controlled House, he said. RMGO then blasted the Senate Judiciary Committee before the bill was heard.
After the real truth about the legislation became clear to Coloradoans, and even many lawmakers, the original Republican Senate bill sponsors dropped his support, he said.
State Rep. Elizabeth McCann (D.-Denver), the bill’s lead sponsor, said she was still hopeful she will get the bill passed in the Senate and made law.
“Any bill that deals with guns will have difficulties,” she said. “Any bill that doesn’t deal with guns, but people think it does, will have difficulties.”
Last year, three Colorado state senators were forcibly retired in the state’s first ever voter recalls, due to their support of a package of radical anti-gun bills in 2013 and legislators are seeing they have no choice but to honor their constituents’ wishes.
The fight over gun rights in Colorado keeps this bellwether state on the national stage and brings to light the gun-grabbers new ploy to disarm gun owners under the guise of mental health legislation.
Neville said, “This legislation goes beyond simply disarming people who are an actual danger to society, it casts a net so wide, it’s hard telling how many gun owners could be caught up in this anti-gun scheme.”