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Weld County sheriff refuses to enforce gun bills

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Weld County Sheriff John Cooke says he won’t enforce two gun-control measures waiting to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Cooke told The Greeley Tribune that Democratic lawmakers are scrambling after recent mass shootings in the country, and the bills are “feel-good, knee-jerk reactions that are unenforceable.”

One bill expands background checks on firearm purchases, and the other limits ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.

Cooke said the bill passed Friday requiring a $10 background check to legally transfer a gun wouldn’t keep firearms out of the hands of those who use them for violence.

“Criminals are still going to get their guns,” he said.

The other bill passed earlier in the week will technically ban all magazines because of a provision that outlaws any magazine that can be altered, he said, adding that all magazines can be altered to a higher capacity.

The sheriff said he “won’t bother enforcing” the laws because it would be impossible for officers to keep track of how the requirements are being met by gun owners — and he and other sheriffs are considering suing the state to block the measures if they are signed into law.

Colorado is the first state outside the East Coast to significantly ratchet back gun rights after mass shootings at an Aurora movie theater and at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Expanded checks have been a top priority for Hickenlooper, who called for the proposal during his State of the State address in January.

The sheriff’s office did not immediately return calls left by The Associated Press.

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