Denver's new "ghost gun" ban comes with surprise for progressive protesters

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Denver city council members recently passed a ban on so-called “ghost guns,” hoping to distract residents into believing their elected officials are actually doing something constructive to address the rise in violent crime when in fact it’s progressive policies that are making the city less safe.


And while the city’s latest local gun control measure should have the left cheering, instead many activists are now realizing that the city council quietly targets them as well.

Denver’s city council passed the ghost gun bill with a 10-1 vote. Candi CdeBaca was the only councilmember to vote against the legislation.

“The pieces of the legislation that weren’t talked about were the pieces about reorganizing the code, the weapons code…basically criminalizing youth a little bit more.” CdeBaca said. “I think this emerged from the protests. People had umbrellas or they had their airsoft guns or they had other things to protect themselves from the pepper spray that was being deployed by the police officers, and now that bill made all of that a crime.”

Yep. It’s not just homebuilt firearms that have been banned in Denver. Bringing an umbrella to a protest can now be considered a crime in Denver; as long as police believe it was brought “for the purpose of defeating crowd dispersal measures,” and not to prevent you from getting rained on.

Activist Karen Ashmore was one of the protesters who used her umbrella as protection.

“I use it sometimes as a, as a barrier between aggressive people, which could be anybody from the Proud Boys to law enforcement,” Ashmore said.

She says she’s concerned about the inclusion of this clause in ghost gun legislation.

“I’m certainly in favor of gun control and the ghost gun bill, but this clause that was added on is not right,” Ashmore said.


“I’m certainly in favor of restricting rights that I myself am not currently exercising, but restricting rights that I am exercising isn’t right” is an argument. It’s just not a very good one.

I hate to break it to this particular Karen, but this is what happens when you start asking governments to take a bite out of our civil rights. Elected officials might well decide they love the taste of authoritarianism in their mouth and choose to keep nibbling; a little gnawing on our First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights to coincide with their snacking on our Second Amendment. But chowing down on our individual liberties doesn’t generally sate the appetite of those officials. Instead, it seems the more they digest the hungrier they become.

Activists Lindsay Minter says she is also concerned about the inclusion of this language.

“I think it was sneaky, and I think it directly impacts how we as protesters and activists and organizers defend ourselves when we’re standing up for our rights,” she said.

The problem with the ordinance isn’t that it was “sneaky” (after all, at least one city council member recognized the scope of the language), it’s that the clear intent of the ordinance was designed to impact those who are standing up for and exercising their civil rights. But since many of the activist left in Denver have no use or respect for the Second Amendment, they had no issue with the council slapping a new local gun control law on the books. It wasn’t until they realized the ordinance also targets them that they objected.


I can’t say I have a ton of pity for them, though I too believe Denver’s new ordinance is a ridiculous and unconstitutional overreach of the city’s authority. The language should prompt activists like Minter and Ashmore to think long and hard about their selective support for our shared civil liberties, but apparently they’re still fully on board with criminalizing an individual right… as long as its not one they’re currently exercising. That’s a good way to not only lose the rights they foolishly consider unimportant or outdated, but the ones they believe are fundamental as well.




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