DENVER - They are sworn to uphold the law. But, what if they don't believe in the law?
Sheriffs from 16 counties around Colorado gathered for what they call their "pre-buttal" to President Barack Obama's visit to Denver to celebrate the recently passed gun control measures.
"While the gun magazine ban and background check laws may, I repeat may, have been well intended, the truth is the way they are written simply went too far," Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said.
Smith and the other sheriffs held a protest rally at Thompson Memorial Park about a mile away from where President Obama talked with supporters at the Denver Police Academy. They were joined by around 100 gun rights advocates, NRA members, and war veterans.
"I am very proud of the fact that our sheriffs are elected officials and they are speaking the voice of the people," Kris Steinbauer, Colorado Springs resident, said.
Steinbauer says the new laws trample on her constitutional rights.
"I will not comply with unconstitutional laws," Steinbauer said. "If a law is made that is unconstitutional, it is not only your right but your duty as an American to not comply with it."
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa says the new gun control restrictions will be difficult for them to enforce.
"Is there anybody here that can tell me which of these magazines, if we assume today's July 15th, is an illegal magazine?" said Maketa while holding up two different ammunition magazines. "This isn't about keeping criminals behind bars or interfering with someone who wishes to do harm. This is about criminalizing law-abiding citizens."
The sheriffs say a better law would've been to create a statewide database accessible by all law enforcement which lists the names of all felons who are not allowed to possess a firearm.
"If the president wants to be a part of the solution to this epidemic of violence in our nation, he needs to brave enough to step away from the staged media events," Smith said.
Maketa says he's upset that the sheriffs never had a chance to join the debate on gun control at the legislature even though they were told by Governor John Hickenlooper their input was welcome.
"Our governor has lied to the citizens of this state and I have no problem telling him that directly," Maketa said.
The County Sheriffs of Colorado released a position paper prior the passing of the gun control legislation. The full paper can be viewed here, http://bit.ly/XdPe8S.
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