Local News

Dems tweet: Sheriffs stand with criminals

Gun Law Tweet Causes Controversy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - As more law enforcement officials and even El Paso County commissioners rally behind a lawsuit to overturn two state gun control bills, someone with access to the Colorado Senate Democrats Twitter account has some harsh criticism of the 55 Colorado Sheriff's behind the lawsuit.

The 55 of 62 sheriff's in Colorado want to overturn a ban on high capacity magazines and a requirement that background checks happen for all gun transfers.

On May 17, the same day the lawsuit was filed, Colorado State Democrats tweeted:

2day CO sheriffs stood in opposition of CO's new gun laws, but not w/law-abiding citizens, but with criminals. #coleg #Sheriffs4Criminals

Several Twitter users called the tweet "outrageous." KRDO NewsChannel13 contacted Senate President John Morse to find out his reaction to the tweet, but our calls were not returned.

El Paso County commissioners met on Tuesday and asked county attorney Amy Folsom to file a brief supporting the lawsuit.

Sheriff Terry Maketa said the tweet is a last-ditch effort by detractors, who refuse to take responsibility for their words.

"It is an act of desperation because they have no way to articulate an argument, and it is very easy to say, 'Oh they are siding with criminal. They are criminals,'" said Maketa.

The Senate Majority Office has issued a statement about the tweet. Officials say the tweet was in reference to a press conference held by sheriffs backing the lawsuit, but did not indicate who was behind it.

The statement reads in part:

"The statement was pointing out the irony of the sheriffs protesting legislation that prevents criminals from getting guns while standing with a man who shot at his wife and another unnamed person who was with his wife.

"These laws are meant to prevent criminals -- domestic violence offenders and convicted murderers from getting a gun.  Why would the sheriffs oppose that? And why would they hold a press conference with a man convicted of shooting at his wife?  In 2011, the background check system caught 38 murderers from having guns.  38 murderers.  Why would anyone not want to prevent even more criminals from getting guns, much less sheriffs?  The answer, they are elected politicians."

A judge has been assigned the lawsuit. The case is being pushed forward quickly to figure out if the new gun laws will stand or be overturned.

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