Weld County ordinance aims to shoot down Colorado gun control

7:17 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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GREELEY - The Weld County Commissioners are considering an ordinance that would protect residents there from new Colorado gun control laws scheduled to go into effect in July. The Weld County ordinance, if it is passed, would go into effect in late June.

"I think we felt compelled. We really needed to stand up and do something," Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said.

Conway says the commissioners were approached by a group of citizens in Weld County who asked if the county's home rule charter could protect them from the new gun laws.

Weld County is one of only two in Colorado with home rule charters. Pitkin County is the other. They believe the ordinance would supersede the state gun control laws.

"At the end of the day, the Board of Weld County Commissioners is going to stand up for the residents of Weld County, and we're fully aware of what that potentially might lead to," Conway said.

"I think it is absolutely ridiculous," said Rhonda Fields, the Democrat Colorado State Representative who sponsored the new gun laws. "I can't see anyone picking and choosing what laws they want to comply with. If they are unhappy with the legislation the way it is, what they can do is work with a representative and run a different bill next session."

The Weld County ordinance is scheduled for a hearing and second reading on May 22. The third and final reading is slated for June 10. If passed, the ordinance would go into effect on June 25.

9News legal analyst Scott Robinson says home rule counties do have extraordinary power, but he doesn't believe it extends to the Colorado gun laws.

"There's no doubt that Weld County can do extraordinary things as a home rule county. They can create their own personnel system; they can create other aspects of government and provide all sorts of services for their citizens. What they can't do is opt out of statewide legislation on gun control," Robinson said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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