DENVER (CBS4) – The debate over gun control has many sheriffs in Colorado urging state lawmakers to hold off on any major changes.
“We oppose anything that’s unconstitutional. We believe in the Second Amendment right of citizens,” said Christopher Olsen, executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado.
Olsen admits the recent mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, Conn., were tragic, but he said it shouldn’t be used to further gun control legislation.
In an official position paper, the County Sheriffs of Colorado state that they oppose a ban on the private sale of guns and bulk purchases of ammunition.
They also oppose a ban on assault weapons, their reason being it’s not clear what an assault weapon is.
“There’s all sorts of variations on that from the federal level to the state level and it’s just kind of a little out of hand right now to be saying ‘all assault guns’ because we just don’t know what that is right now,” he said.
Olsen said they overwhelmingly support more funding and awareness for mental health but added that most people who own guns are responsible, and taking away their rights won’t fix the root of the problem.
“It is a very, very tough problem to resolve. And to equate mental health issues with the gun issues and everything else? There should be some separation there.”
Their conclusion is they want to discuss the issue, and not rush to make decisions during this period of grieving.
“Let’s step back a little bit, have a good deliberative discussion on this, and let’s see what we can come up with. I’m not saying let’s put it off for years, but let’s give it some time,” Olsen said.
Also in the letter, County Sheriffs of Colorado touched on their opposition to mandatory entry into a statewide database for concealed carry permit holders.