In an election year, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper used the F-word to the state’s sheriffs after claiming they never bothered to tell him the gun control bills he signed into law were unenforceable and he had no idea the bills would be controversial.
During the last legislative session Democrats who controlled both chambers of the legislature as well as the governor’s mansion passed a series of gun control laws that are among the strictest in the nation. Among them are what the state’s sheriffs have said is a ban on the sale of all new magazines in the state.
The law bans the sale of all magazines that hold more than 15 rounds or can be readily modified to hold more than 154 rounds. All of the state’s sheriffs opposed the bill saying that all magazines have a removable plate for cleaning, which means they can be converted to hold more than the 15 round limit, despite that never being the manufacturers intent.
While the law grandfathers those who purchased magazines before the ban it prohibits the transfer of the magazine to another person. Among the laws passed was one prohibiting the transfer of a firearm without undergoing a background check. The wording of that law means if a person gives their rifle or magazine to an official on the rifle or pistol range to clear a jam, they have just committed a transfer and are violating the law because no background check was performed. The problem with the law became evident when a sheriff’s department said under the law they could not even conduct a buyback program because the sheriff’s office had no easy way to run a background check prior to accepting the firearms.
During a meeting with the state’s sheriffs, Hickenlooper said he had to sign the magazine ban because a staffer in his office had promised Democratic lawmakers that he would sign the bill and therefore he had no choice.
Hickenlooper also denied that he talked with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over the laws.
However, after video of the meeting emerged and was posted on the website Revealing Politics, Hickenlooper complained that he had no idea he was being recorded.
Following the release of the video, Hickenlooper admitted that he actually did meet with Bloomberg, despite his telling the sheriffs he didn’t but it was only after the bills were signed into law.
When the sheriffs complained that Hickenlooper refused to meet with them prior to signing the bills, despite their testifying before the legislature about the problems with the bill, Hickenlooper had some colorful remarks for law enforcement.
“What the f—?” Hickenlooper said. “I apologized!”
He later said the use of the F-word was meant in jest.