The Recall Elections In Colorado Are A Go!

Colorado District Court Judge Robert Hyatt ruled that the petitions submitted for the recall of State Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) are valid and the recall election is a go.

Judge Hyatt said in his oral decision as reported by the Denver Post:

“The petitions here substantially comply with law,” Judge Robert Hyatt said…

“Recalls are a fundamental right of Colorado citizens,” Hyatt said in his oral decision from the bench…

The judge in his ruling pointed out that the templates used by petitioners date back several years and span Democratic and Republican secretaries of state.

“The form used not only fully complied with secretary of state, but in the court’s opinion it complied with the Colorado constitution,” Hyatt ruled.

“The court does give great weight that petitioners made a good-faith effort to comply with law. The court finds the proponents did not in any way consciously mean to mislead the public.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) set September 10th as the date for the recall elections.

It is expected that Morse and Giron will appeal this decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. That said, as Sebastian Bitter rightly noted, the longer these two and their supporters fight to delay the recall election, the more negative sentiment they generate from voters in their districts.

It will also give the Republicans more time to vet the candidates who will face Morse and Giron. The importance of this vetting has already become evident as one of the announced candidates in Colorado Springs – Jaxine Bubis – writes erotica under the pen name Jaxine Daniels. You can imagine the field day that John Morse would have with this tidbit if it had come out during the final days of the campaign.

Fortunately, the El Paso County Republican Committee chose former Colorado Spring City Councilman Bernie Herpin to face Morse in the election. Herpin and Bubis had a prior agreement to abide by the decision of the Republican committee as to which one of them would be the nominee.

The Farewell To Arms Festival

The group Free Colorado is holding an event on Saturday in Glendale, Colorado called The Farewell to Arms Festival. Free Colorado’s mission is to engage in targeted actions to reverse Colorado laws that imperil the rights of law-abiding firearm owners;
and ensure that no other State passes such reckless government regulation.

The event is meant to highlight the July 1st start of Colorado’s ban on standard capacity magazines. The first 1,500 attendees will receive “a free Magpul Gen M2 MOE 30rd magazine featuring either the Free Colorado or Boulder Airlift design, courtesy of Magpul Industries.”

There will be live music and an appearance by conservative talk show host Dana Loesch.

If you are in the Denver area and support gun rights, you ought to take advantage of this. More details are in the flyer below.

It’s Come To This

Thanks to Bloomberg’s money and the anti-gun focus of the Democrats in the Colorado legislature, companies such as Magpul and HiViz sights are leaving that state.

Thus when I read this story today about Trumark Slingshots expanding their operations in Boulder, it hit me. The gun prohibitionists want us reduced to using slingshots for our personal defense.

Now don’t get me wrong – a slingshot in the right hands, can be and is a deadly weapon. However, there are the limitations. To be accurate with one takes a lot of practice, it has a limited range, it is a one-shot weapon, and it is hard or impossible to use if you are weak, disabled, or maimed.

There are a lot of uses for a slingshot but being your primary self-defense tool isn’t one of them.

UPDATE: Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks sent me a correction about the legality of slingshots in New York.  Dennis is a refugee from New York and its draconian gun laws now living in the gun friendly state of Tennessee. Dennis told me he was happy to embarrass NY any time he had a chance.

In NY, slingshots are illegal. So the Bloomberg prohibitionists don’t want us even reduced to slingshots.

Look it up. (As a former denizen of that state I can tell you that they are illegal)

New York Penal Code Section 265.01, para (1) & (2) state:

“A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:

(1) He or she possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shirken or “Kung Fu star”; or

(2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another; “

CO Secretary Of State Confirms Enough Signatures For Recall Of Morse

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has confirmed that the backers of a recall election for Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) submitted more than enough signatures to force a recall.

The Denver Post reports that the El Paso Freedom Defense Committee obtained 10,137 valid signatures out of over 16,000 submitted. They only needed 7,178 verified signatures to force the recall.

Morse supporters are trying to say that the recall petition had “improper language” and should be tossed out.

A Whole Lot of People for John Morse, the group backing him, said Tuesday its protest “would nullify the purported sufficiency of the signatures.”

They argued the organizers failed to use proper language as defined by the Colorado Constitution requiring petitions “expressly include a demand for the election of a successor to the recalled official.”

Mark Grueskin, a prominent election lawyer who is representing a Morse constituent who filed the legal challenge with the secretary of state Tuesday, said, “The constitution is clear, just as the courts are clear: No recall petition is valid without this specific language.”

In a recall election, the ballot asks two questions: Should “so and so” be recalled, and “if so, then who should” be the successor.

Grueskin said organizers failed to use such wording in their petition language that notifies signers that a recall is a two-part process.

The legal counsel for the Colorado Republican Party dismisses this argument saying that the state constitution protects the people’s right to call for a recall election. 

Second Anti-Gun Colorado Senator May Be Recalled

The Denver Post is reporting that more than 13,500 signatures have been submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State in an effort to force a recall of Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo). The number needed to trigger a recall election in her district is 11,285.

Giron joins State Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) as the second anti-gun Democrat for whom opponents have potentially gathered enough signatures to trigger a recall. The Secretary of State’s office must verify that there are enough valid signatures. After that, both Giron and Morse each have 15 days to challenge any signature. If there are still enough valid signatures remaining after the appeals, then an election date is set that is between 45 and 75 days afterwards.

Both Giron and Morse could resign in which case a “vacancy committee” would pick a successor to serve the remainder of their terms. The replacement would be a Democrat. However, both Giron and Morse have said they don’t plan to resign.

Political analyst Eric Sondermann says it’s hard for him to see Morse, or any Democrat for that matter, resigning when faced with a recall.


“If he resigns because he thinks he can’t win, then that says it’s likely in 2014 another Democrat isn’t going to win either,” Sondermann said.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports that Giron doesn’t regret her vote and doesn’t plan to resign.

A second Colorado Democrat who is facing possible recall over gun control says she wouldn’t change her votes and has no plans to resign.

Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo says she’ll fight for her seat and that most constituents support the measures she backed. Giron oversees the Senate committee that first approved a measure to require background checks on most private and online gun sales.

Giron’s district is heavily Democratic whereas Morse’s district is evenly split between Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliateds. 

UPDATE: The Colorado conservative blog, Colorado Peak Politics, is speculating that Senate President John Morse will resign rather than fight the recall battle. They point to comments made by Kjersten Forseth saying they are evaluating options. They liken Forseth as equivalent for Morse as Karl Rove was to Pres. George W. Bush. In other words, his chief political strategist and advisor. Forseth has a deep background in union and leftist politics in Colorado.

Lawsuit Filed In Colorado By 55 Sheriffs And Others

54 55 out of the 62 sheriffs in the state of Colorado filed suit in US District Court for the District of Colorado challenging the state’s recently enacted gun control laws. Joining the 54 55 sheriffs were the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Magpul, and a whole number of individuals, gun stores, and organizations.

From the NSSF release on the lawsuit:

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, has joined with 54 county sheriffs, Magpul Industries, the Colorado Outfitters Association, several firearms retailers, disabled individuals and other parties in a federal lawsuit brought today in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado in what is a broad-based challenge to Colorado’s recently enacted gun-control laws.


“In addition to Constitutional infringements and unenforceable requirements regarding magazine capacity, as the sheriffs have pointed out, we believe it will be impossible for citizens to comply with mandated firearms ‘transfers’ through federally licensed retailers,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Colorado’s federally-licensed firearms retailers are being asked to process these transfers as if they were selling from their own inventory and to monitor both seller and buyer through a state-administered check process that can take hours or even days. They will not be able to recoup the actual cost of providing the service, which is capped at $10, but they will be liable for paperwork errors and subject to license revocation. Not surprisingly, we expect few, if any licensed retailers will step forward to provide this service.”


“For this reason and the many others detailed in our joint action with our fellow plaintiffs, these laws need to be struck down,” Keane said.

 From the Independence Institute’s release published in The Outdoor Wire this morning:

Colorado Sheriffs to File Suit This Morning Against Colorado Anti-Gun Laws

Photo, Video, and Interview opportunities with plaintiffs, including Sheriffs, Disabled gun owners, Women gun owners
Legal challenge to Colorado’s new anti-gun laws begins in earnest tomorrow morning in Federal Court
Copies of the legal Complaint will be available

Contact Mary MacFarlane, 303-279-6536 x102, mary@i2i.org

Friday morning, May 17, at 10 a.m., Colorado Sheriffs and other plaintiffs will hold a press conference detailing the filing earlier that day of their federal civil rights lawsuit against House Bill 1224 (magazine ban) and 1229 (sales and temporary transfers of firearms).

The press conference will be held at the Independence Institute, 727 East 16th Ave., Denver.

The press conference will have broadcast live on KFKA radio, 1310 AM, Greeley, www.1310kfka.com

A full video will be uploaded to http://www.youtube.com/user/davekopel shortly after the conclusion of the press conference.

Sheriffs are coming from as far away as the Western Slope to participate in the press conference. Also at the press conference will be disabled citizens in wheelchairs, and representatives of Women for Concealed Carry.

After approximately 15 minutes of prepared statements by the Plaintiffs, the Plaintiffs, as well as Sheriffs’ attorney David Kopel, will take questions from the media. There will be photo and video opportunities. Plaintiffs will be available for interviews.

The complaint is not yet up on the District Court’s Pacer site. I’ll post a link when it is available.

Dave Workman has more here as does Michael Bane here.

UPDATE:  The complaint that has been filed US District Court for the District of Colorado can be found here. The case is 54 55 Sheriffs et al v. John W. Hickenlooper. The list of plaintiffs in the case runs for two pages!

The case is being brought on 2nd and 14 Amendment grounds as well as under the Americans with Disability Act. They are asking for declaratory and injunctive relief.

The press conference video is up on YouTube. I have embedded it below. Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned has an earlier video of lead attorney Dave Kopel being interviewed about the case.

Is This The New Colorado?

Let me get this straight. You are working as a park ranger in Trinidad Lake State Park – a law enforcement position – and you poach a trophy mule deer by jacklighting it after hours. Your penalty – a fine and a demotion but you still keep your job with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Rick Cables, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, told The Denver Post on Tuesday the punishment for the incident was adequate but acknowledged some employees who were unhappy the ranger wasn’t fired.

I with those unhappy employees. The guy violated his oath and his position.

Mr. Cables goes on to say that Travis McKay was stripped of his law enforcement status and demoted to a park technician at another state park.

“We changed this individual’s life with these actions,” Cables said. “We feel the actions were appropriate.”

While McKay made “a big mistake,” the ranger who stopped and investigated poaching did “everything right,” Cables said.

We changed this individual’s life?

I knew Colorado was aspiring to be the new Chicago with its gun laws but I didn’t think they’d be adopting the same attitude towards malfeasance by its employees as that of Chicago.

H/T Outdoor Pressroom

HiViz Sights Chooses Wyoming

At the beginning of April, HiViz Shooting Systems of Fort Collins, Colorado announced that they would be leaving Colorado due to the passage of the new gun control laws. They have now settled on where they will be relocating. It is to Laramie, Wyoming which is about a hour’s drive from their old location. As their release below notes, this will allow their current employees to commute to the new plant while they decide on whether to relocate or not.

From their release:

Fort Collins, CO- HiViz Shooting Systems President and CEO Phillip Howe is pleased to announce that Laramie, Wyoming has been selected as the new home for HiViz Shooting Systems.Mr. Howe said the move will be structured over a period of time to ensure uninterrupted service to the HiViz customer base. Building plans are being developed with the city of Laramie and state of Wyoming and construction could begin as soon as the summer of 2013.

“Wyoming has long been an ideal location for the outdoor products industries, including the shooting sports manufacturing arm of the industry,” said Bob Jensen, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. “We welcome Mr. Howe and the HiViz family to our state and we look forward to having HiViz products being produced in Wyoming.”

According to Howe, HiViz selected Laramie not only because of its strong support of the shooting sports manufacturing and supply chain industries, but also because of its close proximity to the present HiViz facility in Fort Collins, Colo., providing current employees the opportunity of a short commute while evaluating relocation.

The company also considered Wyoming’s tax advantages for the business and its employees, the various resources available through the University of Wyoming and a favorable location with a beautiful view of the Snowy Range mountains to the west.

“We are very excited about this announcement and what it means not only for Laramie and Wyoming, but for HiViz as well,” said Laramie Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) chair Megan Overmann Goetz. “LEDC and our partners at the Business Council have been working with Phil and his team on the best solution. We are happy that solution is having HiViz in Laramie conducting business in one of our LEDC business parks.”

“The decision to relocate the company was difficult and choosing the proper location was essential to our continued growth within the industry,” said Howe. “The fine people with the Wyoming Business Council and the LEDC worked diligently to accommodate our needs and make us feel welcome. We look forward to settling into our new home in the firearm friendly state of Wyoming.”

The relocation is rooted in Colorado’s recent tightening of its gun control laws, and the company announced April 1, 2013 that it would pursue a new location more supportive of its products and customers.

HiViz Shooting Systems manufactures light-gathering sights, recoil pads and accessories for the shooting industry. For more information, contact Jeff Maust, Marketing Director at (970) 484-8242 orjlmaust@frii.com.

 In contrast with Colorado where Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) had no trouble screwing both gun owners and those in the gun industry, the governor of Wyoming welcomed HiViz with open arms.

“We are happy to welcome HiViz to Wyoming. Our culture and people make Wyoming a great fit for the company. I thank Phil Howe and all of the employees of HiViz for choosing Wyoming as their next home,” Governor Mead said. “I believe this state has so much to offer all citizens and businesses, but moving is never easy. I want to assure HiViz and its customers that we will work diligently to make sure this transition is a smooth one.”

“I believe the great companies of Wyoming can attest to Wyoming’s climate for growth that should benefit HiViz,” Governor Mead said. “We have the most business friendly tax structure in the country and we combine that with an unparalleled quality of life.”

Now the question becomes where will Magpul end up. It could very well be Wyoming as well. That was what was suggested to me by Chris Wiggins of Pueblo, Colorado based Shooter Ready Radio whom I met at the NRA Meeting. He noted that at least one of their suppliers has moved to Wyoming. Of course, until Magpul reveals their decision, this is only informed speculation.

A Load Of Bovine Excrement

I just read Mayor Bloomberg’s response to the defeat of Manchin-Toomey. If you need some organic fertilizer for your garden, there is a lot of it here.

“Today’s vote is a damning indictment of the stranglehold that special
interests have on Washington. More than 40 U.S. senators would rather
turn their backs on the 90 percent of Americans who support
comprehensive background checks than buck the increasingly extremist
wing of the gun lobby. Democrats – who are so quick to blame Republicans
for our broken gun laws – could not stand united. And Republicans – who
are so quick to blame Democrats for not being tough enough on crime –
handed criminals a huge victory, by preserving their ability to buy guns
illegally at gun shows and online and keeping the illegal trafficking
market well-fed. Senators Manchin and Toomey – as well as Majority
Leader Reid and Senators Schumer, Kirk, Collins, McCain and others –
deserve real credit for coming together around a compromise bill that
struck a fair balance, and President Obama and Vice-President Biden
deserve credit for their leadership since the Sandy Hook massacre. But
even with some bi-partisan support, a common-sense public safety reform
died in the U.S. Senate at the hands of those who are more interested in
attempting to protect their own political careers – or some false sense
of ideological purity – than protecting the lives of innocent
Americans. The only silver lining is that we now know who refuses to
stand with the 90 percent of Americans – and in 2014, our ever-expanding
coalition of supporters will work to make sure that voters don’t
forget.”

At least he blames both Democrats and Republicans alike for the failure of the bill. I’ll give him that.

What I find interesting is his ideological blindness bordering on hypocrisy. If you rewrote the first two sentences and substituted Colorado for Washington and US, you’d have exactly what just happened in Colorado. To say that most Coloradans were in favor of those gun control bills would be a lie. Moreover, the Democrats in the Colorado House and Senate were told by their leaders (and Bloomberg’s lobbyists) to ignore what their constituents were saying. If that isn’t turning their back on Coloradans, what is?

Another Company Leaving Colorado

In the lead story in both the Outdoor and Shooting Wires, it is reported that HiViz Shooting Systems is leaving Ft. Collins, Colorado due to the new gun control laws recently signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO). HiViz makes fiber optic sights for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. The President and CEO of HiViz, Phillip Howe, said they were in discussions with officials in an undisclosed neighboring state to move operations to that state.

Mr. Howe comments, “I make this announcement with mixed emotions. Colorado is a beautiful state with great people, but we cannot in clear conscience support with our taxes a state that has proven through recent legislation a willingness to infringe upon the constitutional rights of our customer base.” Mr. Howe notes that prior to the changes in law in Colorado, he made several attempts to persuade state officials via emails and telephone calls to proceed slowly with gun control legislation that would impact individual shooters and the shooting industry as a whole.

HiViz will move their corporate headquarters first and then their other operations.

In the same issue of the Shooting Wire, it was announced that the Rocky Mountain Western States Regional IDPA Championship scheduled to be held in Montrose, Colorado in July was cancelled. The cancellation comes due, like the HiViz move, to the new Colorado gun control laws.

This is the second major shooting competition to be either cancelled or moved from Colorado. The 2013 Ruger Rimfire Challenge World Championship was scheduled to be held at the Colorado Rifle Club in Byers in July. It is being rescheduled and will be relocated to another state.

If I were a Colorado resident or even a potential Colorado visitor, I’d be reminding Gov. Hickenlooper that actions have consequences. Here is a link to his email page.