Sheriff clarifies stance on gun legislation
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson took advantage of a meeting of the Western Arapahoe Republican Forum on April 20 to clarify his stance on gun control, which he feels was misrepresented after he released an open letter on the subject.
“We will not enforce the background check and the high-capacity magazine ban proactively. … But I won’t tell you that I am not going to enforce these laws,” he told the group, referring to recently passed state laws.
His position that law-enforcement officers don’t write the law but swear an oath to uphold it was taken by some to mean he was soft on the Second Amendment.
“Public safety professionals serving in the executive branch do not have the constitutional authority, responsibility and, in most cases, the credentials to determine the constitutionality of any issue,” Robinson wrote.
If law-enforcement officers stopped enforcing laws they don’t like, it could set a dangerous precedent if juries followed suit, he said.
“Rhetoric can impact the criminal-justice system,” he said.
Robinson will address what he feels are problems with the new laws through lobbying and legal means, and he announced April 22 that he will sign on to a lawsuit initiated by a group of sheriffs to get the laws overturned.
He also plans to help write a bill for next year that would clarify the new laws.
“To a degree, I support background checks for private sales,” he said, but he believes the new Colorado law goes too far by requiring them for transfers among family members. As far as the ban on high-capacity magazines, he thinks it will be impossible to enforce.
“No one goes to jail unless you get to probable cause,” he said.
Robinson addressed what he feels are real problems: mental-health issues, gang violence and street-crime violence.
“I think we’re doing something really wrong,” he said. “We’re not dealing with the issues we can make a difference about.”
He adds violent media to the list, as well, saying it desensitizes kids and blunts the consequences of violence.
“They simply go back and hit the reset button and start all over again,” he said. “But the First Amendment applies to everyone, even those worshipping the almighty dollar to put forth death and destruction.”