Colorado Lawmaker Wants To Bar Gun Sales Over Misdemeanors

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

For those who don’t like guns, it seems they’ll find any excuse they can to bar others from being able to buy them. It’s generally accepted by most that we should probably keep felons disarmed–not by all, of course, but most Americans–and it’s also accepted that those who commit domestic violence should probably be disarmed.

Again, not everyone agrees, but most seem to.

However, here lately, there’s been a push to deny people their Second Amendment rights for a growing number of offenses that don’t meet these criteria. Take this bill from Colorado, for example:

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse will introduce legislation in the House Thursday to prohibit people convicted of violent misdemeanors from purchasing a firearm for five years, a measure the Lafayette Democrat said could help prevent tragedies like the Boulder King Soopers massacre from happening again.

“It seems pretty clear to me in this case that this individual would not have been able to purchase a weapon had this law been the law of the land either in Colorado and ultimately at the federal level,” Neguse told The Denver Post in an interview Wednesday, speaking about the Boulder suspect.

That suspect in the March 22 King Soopers mass shooting that left 10 people dead was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2018 after attacking a classmate at Arvada West High School the previous year. [The killer], then 18, punched the classmate in the head without warning, and when the boy fell to the ground, continued to punch him, according to an affidavit in the case.

[He] was sentenced to probation and 48 hours of community service. But that didn’t stop him from purchasing a gun at an Arvada gunshop days before his deadly assault at the Boulder grocery store, Neguse said.

Now, usually when a law is proposed in the aftermath of a shooting, we can definitively say it would have done nothing to keep the killer from getting a firearm. In this case, I can’t say that definitively. I believe he’d have still gotten a gun somehow, but such a bill might cause a problem for him.

The issue, though, is how many thousands of others would it cause an issue for?

Keep in mind that a lot of people get into fights as legal adults, yet don’t become mass shooters. Some get into the fight, get punished, and recognize that the crap they got away with at 15 doesn’t work at 18 or older, so they clean up their act. A law like this would prevent them from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Then there are the cases when there’s a fight and everyone ends up charged because it’s impossible to tell who started what. So imagine you’re at a bar and end up getting jumped because someone thinks you were making eyes at their girlfriend. The police show up and they just have your word for who started what, so they decide to charge you both.

With a law like this on the books, you don’t get to exercise your gun rights because you simply engaged in a fight defensively and the system let you down.

Since so many gun control advocates are also critical of the criminal justice system, they should understand this quite well. That doesn’t seem to matter to them, though.

Look, my position with every attempt to bar those convicted of misdemeanors from buying guns is that if that crime is so egregious that it warrants denying someone their rights, then make it a felony. If you’re unwilling to do that, then you’re not really taking issue with the crime. You’re taking issue with the fact that someone you don’t approve of can do something you don’t approve of.

That’s not how our system works.

 

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET