COLORADO SPRINGS – El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said he plans to ignore some new gun laws being considered by lawmakers, unless the county could be held liable for any damages caused by his department’s lack of enforcement.
Maketa told an angry packed crowd at a meeting on Thursday he would stand firm against Democrat-sponsored gun bills that will almost certainly become law July 1. One of those bills includes a ban on high-capacity magazines.
“I can’t tell you when those were sold, bought and purchased. As far as I’m concerned, they were all pre-July 1 if the governor does sign this bill,” he said.
County commissioners Peggy Littleton and Amy Lathen backed Maketa’s stance and said they are looking into what actions the county could take to stop any laws from going into effect locally.
The other side of the debate includes Mark Kelly, the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona. Kelly, who is a gun owner himself, spoke in Denver last week about why he thinks stricter laws are needed.
Maketa said the proposed laws were hastily crafted and at least one would be unenforceable. A number of Colorado sheriffs are concerned the laws could lead to registration of gun owners, he said.
He also said he’s been talking to people about filing a lawsuit against the state because he believes some of the proposed laws setting limits on gun purchases are too vague.
Maketa said his office keeps records of every concealed carry permit holder in the county as required by law, but he would never share it. He said he would destroy the database if anyone tried to get their hands on it.
The El Paso County Commission already has approved a resolution proclaiming the county will not enforce any statutes, edicts, presidential directives, or other regulations which conflict with the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.
Maketa said his office would intervene if government agents started arresting county residents for exercising their constitutional rights.