Democrat State Party Platforms – Colorado To Georgia

This is a  continuation of my series of posts pointing out the political platforms of the individual state Democrat parties on firearms, gun control, and the Second Amendment. Remember, this is the official position of the Democratic Party in each state and you can expect Democrats to work to enact laws along these lines.

Colorado

Colorado Democrats have an explicit gun control agenda in their platform. Moreover, firearm restrictions come up in other areas such as schools and National Parks and Forests.

Firearms and Gun Safety
We agree with individual ownership of firearms for hunting and personal safety, but also believe that firearms should be
regulated as follows:

1. Ban assault weapons, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines.
2. Enact universal background checks federally.
3. Enact restrictions: Must be 21 and must demonstrate competency with firearms to purchase a firearm.
4. Prohibit the possession and purchase of firearms by people with violent criminal offenses or on terrorist watch list.
5. Except for security personnel, ban firearms on K-12 schools, college campuses and allow cultural institutions to ban
firearms on their premises.
6. Enact Extreme Risk Protection Order law, which would allow families and law enforcement to seek a court order to
temporarily disarm a person who is dangerous to themselves or others.
7. Enact criminal penalties when adults fail to properly store firearms and minors gain access and harm themselves or
others.
8. Restrict firearms use in National Forest to designated areas, except during hunting season.
9. Allow the CDC and other government agencies to conduct gun violence research, and properly fund.

With regard to making schools gun-free zones, the Colorado Democrats say:

We oppose guns in school, more guns would make our schools less safe and but all (sic) students and staff at increased
risk of becoming a victim of gun violence.

Finally, with regard to public lands and wildlife, it says, “We support the restriction of shooting in National Forests and Parks.”

Connecticut

As you might expect, Connecticut Democrats support gun control and make great claims for it. They don’t go into great detail so they must assume all the post-Newtown restrictions have been accepted.

Guns

Connecticut Democrats are proud to stand behind common sense gun violence prevention measures. As a result, Connecticut has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country.

Gun violence in our urban centers needs to be addressed. This can be supported through incentivized proactive measures such as buybacks, and reinforcing “no questions asked” protections where appropriate in order to get guns off the streets.

Connecticut can do more. There is progress to be made in the areas of Domestic Violence and Extreme Risk protections as these scenarios are a source of mass shooting violence and gun suicide.

Delaware

 The Delaware Democrats’ platform adopts the usual buzzwords such as “common sense” and “weapons of war” without going into too much detail.

Preventing Gun Violence: Gun violence is taking far too many lives in Delaware.
Delaware Democrats support common sense gun safety measures while
respecting responsible gun ownership. We will build on successful efforts at the
state level and proposed efforts at the federal level to get weapons of war away
from criminals and off our streets, while preserving the Second Amendment rights
of law-abiding gun owners.

Florida

 The Florida Democrats have a list of their “values” on their website instead of a platform. In addition to a statement on guns, they also have a separate “gun violence prevention” fact (sic) sheet.

Preventing Gun Violence

“Proud NRA sellout” Adam Putnam and his Republican party would rather give guns to people who shouldn’t have them than enact comprehensive gun control policies. The Republican Party’s dependence on the NRA for money is why they refuse to enact policies that a majority of Floridians support. Unlike Republicans, Democrats support banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and a 3-day waiting period for gun sales. Democrats realize that this isn’t about taking away the rights of responsible, law abiding gun-owners. This is about making our state safer so that there isn’t another shooting in Parkland, Pulse, or anywhere else in Florida. Florida has endured 4 mass shootings in 18 months because of Republicans’ refusal to implement common sense gun reform. Let’s make sure there isn’t a 5th.

Georgia

Georgia Democrats don’t seem to have adopted a party platform since 2011. It is probably for this reason that their platform makes no reference to firearms or “gun violence” (sic).  The only real item I could find is a 2013 press release supporting then President Obama’s efforts at gun control post-Newtown including magazines bans and assault weapon (sic) bans.

I will have to assume that they will support the gun control platform of Stacey Abrams who is their nominee for governor.

As Governor, Stacey will:

  1. Fight for common-sense gun reforms including universal background checks, repeal of campus carry, and extreme-risk protection orders
  2. Support protections and services for victims of domestic violence
  3. Invest in mental health services
  4. Support community and hospital programs to stop the cycle of gun violence



Stacey’s Record:

  1. Opposed legislation which required that guns confiscated in crimes be returned to the street
  2. Opposed campus carry
  3. Received only Ds and Fs from the National Rifle Association
  4. Endorsed by Moms Demand Action and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence

Boulder City Council Sued In Federal Court

Tuesday, May 15th, the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a ban on semi-automatic rifles with cosmetics they didn’t like, a ban on standard capacity magazines, and bump fire stocks.

As the Denver Post reported:

The ordinance prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons, as defined by the city. Also outlawed are magazines with high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.

Owners of the latter two items will have until July 15 to dispose of or sell them. Assault weapons will be grandfathered in; those in possession of such firearms have until the end of the year to receive a certificate proving prior ownership.

The grandfather clause was an olive branch to gun owners, said Councilman Sam Weaver, as was the abandonment of an early proposal to establish a registration system for assault weapons in the city.

Colorado has a state firearms preemption law that, on the face of it, forbids cities from adopting regulations which “prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law.” Firearms law is considered a matter of state concern. Denver, so far, is the only city in the state whose firearm regulations were upheld because it was considered a “special case” due to its size.

At the meeting where the Boulder City Council adopted their ban, representatives from the Mountain States Legal Foundation vowed that they would oppose the measure in court. They have kept their word.

In a release sent out late last night, the Mountain States Legal Foundation announced that they had filed suit in US District Court for the District of Colorado. The lead plaintiff is Jon Caldara who is a member of the Boulder Rifle Club. In addition, Caldara is the president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank, based in Denver.

More on the lawsuit including a link to the complaint is below:

May 16, 2018 – DENVER, CO.  A group of
Boulder residents who face heavy fines and jail time for the mere
possession of firearms that are legal throughout Colorado and the United
States filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the Boulder City Council’s
actions.  Represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, the
plaintiffs are taking a stand against the city council’s
unconstitutional passage of a broad-sweeping ban of the most popular and
widely-owned firearms and magazines in America.  In a blatant act of
discrimination against a political minority, the city council also
unconstitutionally raised the minimum age for firearm possession in
Boulder city limits to twenty-one.  The lawsuit was filed in federal
district court in Denver, Colorado.
Jon Caldara, a well-known, pillar of the
community; the Boulder Rifle Club, which has been in existence since
1889; Bison Tactical, a small business in Boulder city limits; and Tyler
Faye, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, all seek to
defend their rights and the rights of their fellow Boulder residents
against the illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory actions of the
City of Boulder.
“This ban is tantamount to Boulder
attempting to stop drunk driving by banning Subarus,” said Cody J.
Wisniewski, attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation representing
the plaintiffs.  “It accomplishes nothing other than making criminals of
law-abiding citizens.”
“The West wasn’t won with a registered
gun,” said William Perry Pendley, Mountain States Legal Foundation’s
president.  “Colorado is not California; these laws have no place here.”
On May 15, 2018, the Boulder City Council
passed Ordinance 8245, amending the Boulder Revised Code to ban many
rifles, shotguns, pistols, and standard-capacity magazines, as well as
raising the minimum age for firearm possession to twenty-one, within
Boulder city limits. The ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote
despite an overwhelming number of public comments, telephone calls, and
emails expressing concerns with and opposition to the ordinance. 
Mountain States Legal Foundation will be seeking a preliminary
injunction to suspend enforcement of the ordinance pending the outcome
of the litigation.  Without such an injunction, Boulder residents may be
subject to up to $1,000 in fines and ninety (90) days in jail per
violation.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded
in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to
individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and
ethical government, and the free enterprise system. In 2012, Mountain
States Legal Foundation, on behalf of its clients, prevailed in the
Colorado Supreme Court in
Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
The Court’s unanimous decision in that case confirmed the right of
concealed carry permit holders to possess concealed firearms on the
public university’s campus.
For more information:  Caldara v. City of Boulder

FASTER Program In Colorado

My friend Laura Carno helped bring the FASTER program to Colorado in an effort to protect students there. Kelsey Harkness of The Daily Signal traveled to Colorado to find out more about their program. She produced a video of what she found out with interviews with Laura, a SWAT commander, and a charter school founder. I think it is a great overview of what they are doing in Colorado to protect students where school boards will allow it.

Shockingly, Gov. Hickenlooper Does The Right Thing

I have been very critical of Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) aka John Hickenstupid over the years when it comes to Second Amendment issues. Yesterday, he did something right when it comes to the Second Amendment if you bear in mind that the Second Amendment applies to not just firearms but all arms or weapons (in common use). He signed into law the bill that repealed the Colorado ban on switchblades and gravity knives.

The repeal of this ban was supported by not only groups like Knife Rights but the ACLU, the ACLU of Colorado, and the County Sheriffs of Colorado.

As the note from Knife Rights below makes clear, the effective date of the ban repeal will be on or about August 9, 2017. Up until that time, switchblades and gravity knives will still be illegal in the state of Colorado.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Thursday signed SB 17-008, the bill to repeal Colorado’s switchblade and gravity knife ban. Congratulations to sponsors Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Steve Lebsock for their effective leadership in moving this bipartisan bill thorough the legislature with overwhelming votes in both houses. Thanks to everyone who called or emailed the Governor urging him to sign the bill.

Knife Rights was pleased to be able to assist the sponsors in moving this bill through the legislature. Knife Rights’ Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, traveled to Denver to lobby the bill at the invitation of the sponsors, overcoming objections raised by some legislators. We’d also like to thank Sen. Hill’s constituent, retired Air Force Master Sgt. John Bloodgood, whose request was the inspiration for this bill and who did a great job supporting the bill in testimony at the hearings.

We’d also like to thank the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Colorado and County Sheriffs of Colorado for supporting this important criminal justice reform bill.

Note that the repeal does not become effective until 90 days after the current legislative session ends. That would make enactment approximately August 9, 2017. We will let you know the actual enactment date once the session ends. Until enactment, possession of automatic and gravity knives remains illegal in Colorado. Also worth noting is that once enacted and the ban is repealed, automatic knives will be subject to Colorado’s concealed carry blade length limitation of 3.5 inches or less.

Colorado is the twelfth switchblade ban repeal passed since Knife Rights passed the nation’s first repeal of a switchblade (automatic) knife ban in 2010 in New Hampshire. Since then we have passed repeals of switchblade bans and repealed other knife restrictions in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and now Colorado’s ban is repealed as well.

Now if only Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) would show similar intelligence when such a bill is presented to him again repealing New York’s ban on gravity knives. He vetoed the first attempt even though groups such as the NAACP and the ACLU were in full support of the bill.

Colorado Bill To Repeal Standard Cap Mag Ban Fails

Earlier this month, the Colorado State Senate passed SB16-113 which would have repealed the ban on standard capacity magazines and would have repealed the requirement that standard capacity magazines manufactured in Colorado have a date stamp on them.

The vote to pass the bill in the Senate was 20 aye and 12 nay with two excused. It had previously passed out of committee on a 3-2 party line vote.

While the Senate is controlled by the Republicans, the House is the domain of the Democrats. While there was some hope that the Democrats might allow the bill out of committee, that hope was dashed last night.

The House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee voted on the bill last night. The first vote was on a motion to send the bill to the House floor for consideration by the full House. This was defeated on a party line 4-5 vote. Then the committee voted 5-4 to postpone consideration of the bill indefinitely. This means the bill is dead for all practical purposes.

Coloradans can thank Committee Chair and House Majority Whip Su Ryden (D-Arapahoe), Rep. Mike Foote (D-Boulder), Rep. Dianne Primavera (D-Boulder/Broomfield), Rep. Max Tyler (D-Jefferson), and Rep. Susan Lontine (D-Denver) for this bill’s defeat. These five were good little minions for Mike Bloomberg and did as they were told. I’m sure the criminal element, especially home invasion specialists, were pleased with this result. As to your average, law-abiding, tax-paying Colorado gun owner, that is another story.

I want to thank my friend Laura Carno as well as attorney David Kopel for taking the time to testify in favor of the bill before the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee when it held hearings.

H/T Jenna Meek

A More Congenial Home For Magpul

It is always nicer to be where you are appreciated. So it is with Magpul and their relocation of their production facilities from Erie, Colorado to Cheyenne, Wyoming. I’m sure the people in Erie appreciated Magpul and the jobs that they provided. However, the then-powers that be in the Colorado legislature didn’t nor did Gov. John Hickenlooper when they passed their restrictions on standard capacity magazines.

With their move a mere 80 miles north on Interstate 25, Magpul is in a city and a state that not only appreciates their jobs but their product. This is very evident in the news report from Cheyenne’s CBS 5 News Channel.

Hey, Mike! About Those Roadless Areas In Colorado

The arrogance of former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg knows no bounds. Of course, we in the gun culture have known that for a long time. Now he has just reconfirmed it in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine with comments about Colorado which are making Democrats like Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) squirm.

In Colorado, we got a law passed. The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don’t think there’s roads. It’s as far rural as you can get. And, yes, they lost recall elections. I’m sorry for that. We tried to help ’em. But the bottom line is, the law is on the books, and being enforced. You can get depressed about the progress, but on the other hand, you’re saving a lot of lives.

Those (former) state senators to whom Bloomberg refers would be (former) Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs), (former) St. Sen Angela Giron (D-Pueblo), and (former) St. Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Arvada-Jefferson County). The first two were recalled and Hudak resigned just before she was recalled.

Morse represented Colorado Springs (pop.  439,886) which is the state’s second largest city. Bloomberg might be surprised to find out that Colorado Springs has a streets department to take care of their roadless areas.

We seek to render cost effective and competent services to the citizens of Colorado Springs, striving to ensure public safety for the citizens by providing quality maintenance and rehabilitation of public streets and drainage ways being responsive to the citizen’s requests and concerns and to handle them in a timely manner.

Colorado Springs is almost as large as New York City’s fifth borough Staten Island.  But, I guess I should note, that Staten Island – the hometown of my mother – is also known as the forgotten borough.

Pueblo (pop. 108,249), which was represented by Ms. Giron, is considerably smaller. Still even they have a street maintenance division. According to City of Pueblo’s website, this division of the Public Works Department has “32 full-time, dedicated employees” whose primary focus is “to ensure that pavement surfaces are maintained adequately.” Pavement? How can you have pavement if it is roadless?

Finally, Colorado Senate District 19 was represented by Mrs. Hudak until she abruptly resigned. That district is centered on Jefferson County (pop. 551,798) which calls itself “The Gateway to the Rockies”. Anyplace called “the Rockies” must be roadless. But wait, the county’s Road and Bridge Division maintains over 2,900 miles of paved roads. Hudak’s district was centered on Arvada (pop. 108,249) which, according to the city’s website, has over 1,400 lane miles of streets within the city limits.

Bloomberg is as misinformed about Colorado as he is about firearms. Moreover, he has no hesitation about tossing politicians under the bus after he gets what he wants. Both Udall and Hickenlooper should have thought of that before they took his money.

Magpul Says Adios, Colorado; Hola, Wyoming And Texas

Magpul Industries has made it official. Their company’s new home will be in both Wyoming and Texas.  Back in February, Magpul drew their line in the sand and said they would be leaving Colorado if House Bill 1224 which limited magazine size passed the State Legislature and was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO). The Democrats passed the bill, Hickenlooper signed it, and Magpul is making good on their intention to move all their operations out of the state.

Magpul will be moving their manufacturing and distribution facilities to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Their company headquarters will be to one of three North Central Texas sites under consideration. Both the states of Wyoming and Texas have put together grant and tax relief packages to lure Magpul to their states. Moreover, both Gov. Matt Mead (R-WY) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) were involved in the pursuit of Magpul.

HiViz Sights moved to the Laramie area earlier this year. Alfred Manufacturing and Lawrence Tool & Molding, both of whom are suppliers to Magpul, had announced their intention to leave Colorado along with Magpul.  I cannot find any news on whether they plan to move their facilities to Wyoming along with Magpul.

Magpul’s official announcement is below:

Magpul Industries announced today that it is relocating its operations to Wyoming and Texas.

The company is relocating manufacturing, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Magpul is leasing a 58,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility during the construction of a 100,000 square foot build-to-suit facility in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. The Wyoming relocation is being completed with support from Governor Matt Mead, the Wyoming Business Council and Cheyenne LEADS.

Magpul is moving its corporate headquarters to Texas. Three North Central Texas sites are under final consideration, and the transition to the Texas headquarters will begin as soon as the facility is selected. The Texas relocation is being accomplished with support from Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

“Magpul made the decision to relocate in March 2013 and has proceeded on an aggressive but deliberate path” says Doug Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Magpul Industries. “These dual moves will be carried out in a manner that ensures our operations and supply chain will not be interrupted and our loyal customers will not be affected.”

The company began a nationwide search for a new base of operations after legislation was enacted in Colorado that dramatically limits the sale of firearms accessories – the core of Magpul’s business. Magpul plans on initially transitioning 92% of its current workforce outside of Colorado within 12-16 months and will maintain only limited operations in Colorado.

“Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” says Richard Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer for Magpul Industries. “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”

Times Editorial Is Laughably Inaccurate

The editorial board of the New York Times wouldn’t know the difference between actual grass roots efforts and astroturfing if it bit them on their privileged asses. They show their ignorance in an unsigned editorial about the Colorado recall elections titled, “The Gun Lobby Takes Vengeful Aim.”

The ink was barely dry, however, before the National Rifle Association was vindictively pressing for recall votes against two supporters of the stronger law, the State Senate president, John Morse, of Colorado Springs, and State Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo.

The recall vote, set for Sept. 10, could hardly be more important as a barometer of whether the public, which repeatedly registers support for tougher gun controls in surveys, will show up at the ballot to defend politicians who bucked the gun lobby.

If by gun lobby the New York Times means gun owning constituents, then they might be correct. However, this is not what they mean and we all know it. Unlike the gun controls measures which were written and lobbied for by Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the threat of money to primary opponents of any Democrat who didn’t support them, the recall efforts have been actual grassroots efforts led by Coloradans.

The Basic Freedom Defense Fund was set up in February of this year to fight the gun control measures being financed by Bloomberg. After those measures were rammed through by Democrats, the Fund decided to start recall efforts against four Democrats. While the Times only mentions Morse and Giron, the recall effort also targeted State Sen. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango) and State Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminister). They were unsuccessful in getting enough signatures in the time allotted to force the recall of McLachlan and Hudak.

These politicians were targeted for two basic reasons. First, they were considered vulnerable due to close past elections. Second, they had ignored their constituents. Chris Wiggins of Shooter Ready Radio who lives in Pueblo told me over 1,000 constituents had turned up for a townhall meeting regarding gun control with State Sen. Angela Giron. Of these, less than two dozen spoke in support of gun control while the rest were adamantly opposed to the proposed measures which Giron ultimately supported.

Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) you may remember famously told his Democrat colleagues in the State Senate to ignore all the phone calls, emails, and letters from constituents and to vote for the gun control measures. This is the same Morse that the Times editorial calls “a respected Second Amendment proponent” and who states “Recalls are for unethical behavior, and not disagreements.” I would agree with Morse but would go on to say that his behavior has been unethical and that a recall for him is right and proper.

The Times editorial concludes by saying this is an opportunity to rebuff the NRA and the gun industry.

For all the message of risk for politicians embodied in the vengeful recall attempt, there is a parallel opportunity for the public to rebuff the gun industry. But enough voters must show up in defense of two lawmakers who conscientiously stood for public safety.

The gun lobby’s defeat in Colorado would send a stirring message to statehouses across the nation that the public must not be denied in demanding better gun safety.

What they really mean is that the gun owning peons in Colorado should sit down, shut up, and kow-tow to their “betters” who know whats best for them. I hate to tell the Times editorial board this but we fought a revolution over 200 years ago over similar attitudes. The rabble won against the world’s greatest army then and the rabble (aka the grassroots) will win again against Mayor Bloomberg and his bought and paid for minions in Colorado.

A Welcome Unintended Consequence Of Colorado’s New Laws

The new Bloomberg-backed background checks law in Colorado has had an unintended and welcome side effect: it prevented a gun buyback. Together Colorado had planned a gun buyback for August 4th in the People’s Republic of Boulder. They had to call it off at the request of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

Organizers have canceled a gun buyback at the request of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, who said Colorado’s new gun laws would make the Aug. 4 event nearly impossible to stage.

“The bottom line is what we anticipated doing would still be legal — but procedurally we can’t follow through with it at this time,” Pelle said Tuesday.

A stricter law that went into effect July 1 requires buyers to go to a licensed firearms dealer and undergo a background check. The InstaCheck systems used in the checks are not mobile, which means they couldn’t be used at the sheriff’s compound where the buyback was planned.

“It’s not a portable system,” Pelle said. “It can’t be done at the site.”

Essentially, for the event to work, Pelle said the group would have to find a licensed firearms dealer to host the event and then pay the dealer per transaction, “which becomes very unproductive,” he said.

That is just too bad for both Together Colorado and Sheriff Pelle who gave the event his full support.

It is also really too back for Boulder metalworking artist Jessica Adams who was to be given parts of the destroyed firearms to make a sculpture “creating gun violence (sic) awareness.”