Morgan County, CO Joins Gun Rights Sanctuary County Movement

Sheriff Dave Martin and Commissioner Jon Becker worked together to make it happen

Published Sunday, March 31, 2019 7:30 pm

The Morgan County sheriff and commissioners had previously stated that they believe HB19-1177 as written was clearly unconstitutional and would not enforce it. Sheriff Dave Martin and Commissioner Jon Becker worked together to write the statement, outlining specific articles in the federal and state constitutions that they said they believe the bill violates.

Commissioner Becker and the rest of the County Council made some public comments afterward, stating his disappointment that the legislature had originally included a provision to get necessary mental health treatment for those who needed it, including a full assessment of the individual and the risk of the situation. He wanted to see some sort of corroboration to verify that the person in question, in fact, had some sort of mental illness.

The commissioners then collectively expressed hope that the bill would be overturned in the courts before it had the opportunity to violate an innocent person's rights, adding that it had been largely sold to the public as a mental health solution but instead was delivered as nothing more than a gun grab.

"This has all along been said that this is a mental health issue for the state of Colorado and that's what they were protecting. As soon as the judge's order goes through, there should be a mental health evaluation of the persons before anything is seized. Because that was struck down, this became a gun grab bill. We're not getting to the root of what's going on. I really believe that 1177 tramples over many constitutional rights and I fully support this statement. I am thankful the sheriff has worked with us to get this far."

Sheriff Martin agreed with Becker's statements and expressed his intent to approach judges to discuss possibilities for getting the bill stricken through legal action in the courts.

Commissioner Mark Arndt also expressed his opinion that the bill was flawed. 

"The bill puts the sheriff in an especially difficult position because he took an oath to uphold the constitution. If this law passes and becomes law, he then violates his oath to uphold the Constitution in our eyes. If it truly is found to be constitutional by the courts, [the sheriff] is bound by duty to uphold the law of the state of Colorado, or he'll be the one in jail."