Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Evan Hill of HPG Addresses Colorado State Legislature and State Senators Respond

Our friend Evan Hill of Colorado based Hill People Gear provided us with a response from some of the State Senators. We asked him if we could share the message he put forth to his legislators as well, since he is a voice in the industry. While, the response from Senator Greg Brophy is brief, it puts forth a clear message to the people as to a solution for the problem at hand even if not immediate. We will add other responses to this message as they come along.

To Colorado's Lawmakers:

I was born in Colorado, earned my Eagle Scout award here, and graduated from both high school and college here. I ended up meeting and marrying a woman from Oregon, so I've spent the last 15 years in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, my wife and I decided to move our family and our small but rapidly growing family business to Colorado. We chose Colorado because the land and the attitude of the people mean so much to me. We also chose it after taking a long hard look at economic and political indicators from a variety of sources. Colorado has won a reputation as a forward thinking state where people and businesses thrive in the fresh air of positive thinking and unencumbered legislation.

Imagine my chagrin to find that Colorado lawmakers are considering joining the short list of states notable for ignorant and counter-productive legislation -- states that individuals and businesses are leaving in droves for more enlightened jurisdictions. The simple fact of the matter is that HB13-1224 and 1229 will do absolutely nothing to increase public safety. You don't have to take my word for it. Consider these sources:

The Center for Disease Control: In a study published in 2003, the CDC set out to prove that firearm control legislation reduces violent crime. On the contrary, they had to admit in their findings that there is insufficient evidence to show that firearms legislation has any effect on violent crime whatsoever. That study is here:

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: The United Nations maintains statistics on violent crime on an annual basis. Their data shows that there is no correlation between strict gun control and a decrease in violent crime. In fact, the United Kingdom - which has had the strictest gun controls in the world for decades - ranks far ahead of many other countries (including ours) both in violent crime and gun related crime. Here is the United Nations data:

County Sheriffs of Colorado: In the experienced opinion of your very own Law Enforcement professionals, "gun control doesn't equal lower crime rates, which is really what we hope for". It doesn't get much more succinct than that. In case you haven't read their position paper, it is located here:

Since it is very clear that HB13-1224 and 1229 will do nothing to increase the public safety, what would be the effects of this legislation? For one, it would mark Colorado as a state willing to pass illegal legislation that fails the test of judicial review. In the United States Supreme Court's Heller Decision, it was found that the 2nd amendment is an individual right and provides for private ownership of arms in common use at the time. That decision is located here:

The findings also make it clear that the intention of the 2nd amendment is for private individuals to have parity of armament with military forces. A move to restrict the private ownership of normal capacity magazines and instead limit individuals to reduced capacity (10 round) magazines is blatantly unconstitutional.

Passing illegal legislation is bad in and of itself, but it also sets a very dangerous precedent. Jurisdictions that are willing to pass illegal legislation never stop at just one act of tyranny, they pile on with additional restrictions and transgressions until government is nothing more than a cancerous blight that the best and brightest are compelled to flee.

You have a choice before you - maintain Colorado's reputation as a forward thinking state where people and businesses can thrive and grow, or set our first marker out there as a state where the government is harmful to its constituents. Please, don't let your legacy be one of ignorance and tyranny - vote no on HB13-1224 and 1229.


Evan Hill

Greg Brophy Colorado State Senator Responds: 

Thanks for taking the time to write.  I hope that at least a few of the Democrats will vote against these bills.  I want you to remember who has pushed these bills; do not vote for a Democrat in 
Colorado again.  Even if one votes against any of these bills, they still support the leaders who are pushing these infringements.  

You can count on me to do everything possible to defeat any and all gun control measures.

Greg B.

Larry Crowder Colorado State Senator Responds

I am and will be a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment. I took an oath to uphold the constitution, and I take seriously and will stand by this I hope to hear more from you in the future. All gun bills still have to come before the Senate.  Also, I am not towing a line with a party, As a veteran I actually believe what I say in this e-mail.

Larry Crowder
State Senator

Jared Wright Colorado State Representative Responds

Hello everyone,

Thank you for writing to me about firearms legislation. This week I received over 4,000 emails about the bills introduced February 8. While I would like to write each of you individually, the mere volume of emails I received (and am still receiving!) prevents me from doing this. But please know that I have read your concerns, and I am excited to see so many of you involved in the political process.

Most of you wrote to me in opposition to the universal background check for firearms transfers and the limit on ammunition magazine size. Some of you that receive this email wrote in favor of these bills, but the vast majority did not support these pieces of legislation. Either way, let me explain how I feel about these bills, and why I voted NO against all of them.

I believe that one of the government’s few jobs is to provide safety for all its citizens. This is why we have the police force, fire department, and men and women of our armed forces. Protecting innocent human lives is important. As a former law enforcement official, I experienced first hand the danger that guns can present when in the wrong hands. Criminals have used guns against me, and solely by the grace of God am I here to help craft laws to increase our safety. Guns in the hands of those who wish to do evil can have disastrous consequences on our society, but they also provide safety to those who need to defend themselves when law enforcement cannot help. In all too many situations, the police department cannot get to the scene of a crime before it is tragically too late. Because of this, I believe the government should ensure that citizens have an simple process to acquire weapons for self-protection. Our Nation's Founding Fathers understood this. They knew we have a fundamental need to protect ourselves from two groups — the first group is evil-doers who wish to harm our families. The second group is, in fact, an out of control tyrannical government, just like the one our Founder's fought so valiantly against to give us all freedom and liberty.

House Bill 13-1229, which would require universal background checks on firearms transfers, severely extends the amount of time a person can purchase a gun privately. Now, I understand the opposition’s argument. A criminal can purchase a gun from a law-abiding citizen and commit more crimes. The opposition claims that a universal background check would prevent this. I disagree. Criminals will still avoid the law (by nature of being a criminal) and get access to firearms without a background check. While the drafters of this bill may have good intentions, I think this bill will ultimately harm law abiding citizens and make purchasing a gun for protection more onerous.

House Bill 13-1224 would limit the size of ammunition magazines. I also voted “NO” on this bill. While, again, I believe the sponsors of this bill had good intentions to protect the safety of our citizens, this legislation is misguided at best. Banning large capacity magazines will actually not increase public safety. In fact, it will make us all LESS safe. A practiced criminal can unload a magazine and load a new one in a matter of seconds. For a trained criminal, this bill will not slow the rate of shooting or decrease the devastation caused, but  this legislation will make people less able to protect themselves against intruders and assailants against themselves and their families and loved ones - and that is wrong.

The recent tragic shootings are cause for intense concern, no doubt. But rather than legislating to slow the purchase of guns, I believe that allowing our citizens to easily obtain guns for self-protection and the protection of our most valuable asset — our children — is a much better idea. It is also an idea that our Founding Fathers would adhere to as they indicated in the Second Amendment, rights which have recently been upheld and sustained by our United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. I swore an oath to protect and defend our US Constitution and our Colorado Constitution. If I voted any other way but NO on these gun control bills, I would be violating that oath.

For those of you that wrote to me in favor of these bills, I appreciate your input. However, I believe these bills do more harm than good. The public safety of our State and Nation is a discussion we must continue to have and a topic we must act on with certainty. Our action should be focused on the evil-doers, not on just one of the tools they choose to use against us. I hope to continue to offer solutions in the form of better mental health care standards in our state, stricter penalties for violent criminals and better law enforcement response times and stationing in our schools.

Thank you again for writing me. If I can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact my office.



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