Phillips County Sheriff Thomas Elliott had previously stated that he would not take part in confiscating firearms from citizens if ordered to under HB1177, soon to be presumably signed by Governor Jared Polis. At their meeting last Friday, the Phillips County Board of Commissioners agreed and announced their intention to back the sheriff's decision.
Sheriff Elliott made a statement saying he believes that the bill would infringe on the constitutional protections of county residents, including the Second Amendment right to firearms, the Fifth Amendment's rights of due process, and the Fourth Amendment's restrictions of unreasonable searches and seizures. He continued, stating that the bill unfairly targets gun owners while failing to address any real cause of gun violence.
“It does nothing for mental health. It doesn’t require any kind of treatment. The state of Colorado is addressing the tool and not the problem.”
The resolution itself, which was passed on March 19th, resembles many that we saw passed in Illinois in that it stops short of declaring the county a 'gun sanctuary', but promises that it will become one if HB1177 is written into law.
Commissioner Terry Hofmeister assured attendees that the county consulted with their local attorney, Al Wall, before the vote on the resolution. He went on to assert that they do not expect any legal challenges from the move.
Phillips County now becomes the 36th County in Colorado to pass some kind of a sanctuary resolution or declaration in support of Second Amendment rights.