While the Democratic supermajority in Denver isn’t ready to release its proposed ban on so-called assault weapons quite yet, anti-gun lawmakers did receal four new anti-gun proposals on Thursday; all of them aimed either at legal gun owners or the firearms industry.
The legislation includes a mandatory three-day waiting period between the time a firearm is purchased and when the buyer is allowed to take it home, a complete prohibition on firearms possession and purchases for most adults under the age of 21, expanding the state’s “red flag” gun seizure law to allow more people to file petitions, and removing legal protections designed to prohibit junk lawsuits against the firearms industry seeking to hold them responsible for the actions of violent criminals.
A couple of the bills had a soft introduction earlier this week, with lawmakers giving a sneak peak to a few members of the press, but on Thursday anti-gun legislators held a press conference to proudly show off their anti-civil rights legislation, swearing that the laws will make the state a safer place.
“These are incredibly important bills that will save lives,” Senate President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said during a press conference on Thursday. “We worked for months on practical language and with stakeholders, advocates and gun violence survivors to make sure these policies will be effective and, most importantly, enforced.”
Oh really? What about all the laws that are already in place? Sure sounds like they’re not being enforced as much as they could. Take the case of 31-year-old Devon Bobian; one of three individuals police say were involved in a high-speed chase that led to the death of Fountain, Colorado police officer Julian Becerra. Bobian not only had active warrants out for his arrest at the time Becerra spotted him and began his pursuit, but had previously been the recipient of a criminal justice system that allowed him to escape serious consequences for a weapons offense.
Bobian had two warrants out for his arrest at the time of the incident — the first for a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized absence and the second for motor vehicle theft and felony criminal mischief.
According to an affidavit acquired by The Gazette, Bobian was staying in a community corrections facility in Pueblo after being released from the Department of Corrections six months into an 18-month sentence. He pleaded guilty to one count of weapon possession by a previous offender in March.
The affidavit outlines that Bobian on Dec. 10, 2022, told staff at the residential program that he was going to the hospital, but Bobian never checked into the hospital and never returned to the residential program.
Bobian had been on the run since, but while unaccounted for he picked up an additional case on Jan. 24. The affidavit for the incident outlines how Bobian and others broke into a Pueblo business using a stolen car and stole over 100 gallons of gasoline.
Bobian served 1/3rd of his sentence as a repeat offender, and Fenberg has the audacity to brag about how these new gun control proposals directed against lawful gun owners are going to be strictly enforced?
As we’ve previously discussed, Colorado’s violent crime rate has been heading in the wrong direction for most of the past decade, even as the Democratic majority adds more and more anti-gun statutes to the books. Republican House Minority leader Mike Lynch, responding to the latest onslaught of gun control measures, declared that while Coloradans are right to be concerned about public safety, the bills aren’t what the state’s voters are looking for.
“Up until this moment, Coloradans have been free to exercise their constitutional rights to legally purchase and bear arms,” Lynch said in a statement. “We Republicans are the only ones that are standing between these ongoing legislative assaults on Coloradans abilities to protect themselves, their families, and their homes. The radical members of the Democrat caucus have taken advantage of their super majority to push through an anti-constitution, anti-freedom, and anti-Colorado agenda.”
That’s the problem though, isn’t it? Colorado Democrats have a supermajority in the legislature, which is a pretty good indication that many voters in the state have bought in to the false promises of increased safety at the expense of their individual rights despite the failures of the state’s “red flag” law, “large capacity” magazine ban, and “universal” background checks (among other gun control laws already in place) to reduce violent crime over the past ten years.
As long as the state and its elected officials treat responsible gun owners as the biggest threat to public safety while giving guys like Bobian a slap on the wrist, Colorado’s violent crime rate isn’t going to get any better. And given that many of these proposals are going end up challenged in court and face a good chance of getting tossed out, legislators are wasting time and taxpayer money going after the Second Amendment rights of Coloradans when they should be addressing the crisis in the courts instead.