Lou Vallario, Garfield County Sheriff, rejects all gun background checks as unconstitutional

lou vallario.jpg
Lou Vallario.
Last week, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith announced on Facebook that he wouldn't enforce gun laws he considered to be unconstitutional. Now, other lawmen are joining in. Garfield County Lou Vallario has written an essay declaring the Second Amendment to be absolute, while Weld County Sheriff John Cooke also voices constitutional concerns. Only Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson suggests that people like him shouldn't be making such calls. Read their views below.

In his manifesto, originally posted on his Facebook page, Larimer County's Smith wrote that as sheriff, he would not "enforce unconstitutional federal laws...obey unconstitutional laws...allow others to violate the Constitutional Rights of those in my county."

justin smith facebook.jpg
Justin Smith.
Among the proposals he viewed as suspect were background checks. Here's an excerpt:
The only possible way to achieve "universal background checks" for private transactions of lawfully-owned firearms is to register every single firearm in existence in our nation. Otherwise, the federal government could never prove the transaction of a firearm. Anyone who fails to go through with such registration will be defined as a criminal by our federal government. That same government which has all too often has failed to enforce the current laws against criminal predators, will then start to discriminately target and prosecute law-abiding Americans who are simply exercising their Constitutionally recognized Right to keep and bear arms.
Smith subsequently softened this viewpoint to some degree, with a spokesman stressing that he was merely expressing his thoughts rather than declaring that only his opinion of constitutionality counted.

sheriff john cooke.jpg
John Cooke.
In a Denver Post interview, Weld County's Cooke offered no such caveats. He said he disagreed with all of the gun-control measures promoted by the Obama administration, including universal background checks, which he sees as a slippery slope to gun registration for all.

"I'm not going to help [Obama] in any way," Cooke told the paper. "I'm not going to enforce it because it's unenforceable and because I don't have the resources. The federal government doesn't have the resources."

For his part, Vallario focuses on philosophy, not practicality. His entire missive, published on the Garfield County Republican Party's website, is below, but here's an excerpt:

Simply put, I cannot and will not compromise my rights afforded me and others under the Constitution of the United States, particularly the Second Amendment. The starting point and ending point of our position should be that the rights of law abiding citizens to "keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." That last phrase, carefully crafted by the Founding Fathers, makes this right absolute. Nothing further should be discussed. No compromise should be considered.
In another section, Vallario admits that background checks didn't always seem like a crazy idea to him, but he's had a change of heart:
There was a time when I supported data bases and background checks, but now, convinced that they will not prevent evil people from being evil, I oppose ANY government intervention into the rights of law abiding citizens. As a law enforcement official, I know that criminals will not comply with these requirements. If gang-banger #1 wants to buy a gun from gang-banger #2, he will not first seek a background check. He's a criminal and does not abide by the law. Even if he did clear a background check, how will this process prevent him from shooting up a school, a mall, or a rival gang? It won't. Nor will it prevent other evil people from doing heinous things to society. Some of our most notorious serial killers never used a gun, yet they were responsible for killing hundreds of people. Therefore background checks and data bases serve no purpose other than creating a way to take honest, law-abiding citizens and turn them into criminals if they don't comply.
Presumably, Arapahoe County's Robinson has to deal with more actual gang-bangers than does Garfield County's Vallario. Yet in an op-ed circulated by his office, Robinson makes it clear that he feels neither he nor any of his fellow sheriffs should be the final word on the constitutionality of anything.

Continue to read the essays of sheriff's Lou Vallario and Grayson Robinson.


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20 comments
Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

Did you have a choice when the prison was named after the PERVERT Sheriff Sullivan?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Common sense & logic are both 'unconstitutional' towards religion, yet remains widely & blindly accepted .

CopsAreHypocrite
CopsAreHypocrite

"Its unenforceable and because I don't have the resources". So why is there a war on drugs? We haven't been able to stop drugs, so why not just quit?

Stephan Reuchlein
Stephan Reuchlein

oh and by the way, per congress, County Sheriff's are not required to enforce Federal law.

Stephan Reuchlein
Stephan Reuchlein

Hey all, remember that marijuana is illegal by federal law.....betcha dont want that particular law enforced now. hypocrites.

Brent Miller
Brent Miller

I see it a as part. Of a bigger question. As part of states right vs federal govt rights. What is it now we have a doz or so states following Wyoming laws that state they do not recognize any federal gun laws that violate a citizens right to own a gun. They are using the same grounds of states rights that Colorado used to pass a law that legalize is the use of recreational cannabis/ pot. Im wondering as to where all this is leading. Im feeling like we starting to become more divided as a nation.

brotherrog
brotherrog

well, since judges determine what is or isn't constitutional, he'll have to defer to them --- or quit his job.

Natasha Schwertley
Natasha Schwertley

Yes, keep arming those who've already proven themselves to be violent. Keep arming those who are crazy. Clearly that doesn't have any negative repercussions. Perfect example of someone not responsible enough to own one himself with that logic.

Dan Brown
Dan Brown

Is it possible he can't read? Maybe someone he trusts is lying to him about what is and isn't in the Constitution... because I'm pretty sure you can do a Ctrl F and never find 'No Background Checks' anywhere in the 2nd amendment.

instntkrma
instntkrma

it's nice to know the sheriff is a KOOK!

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

Sweet.  ATTENTION ALL CONVICTED FELONS:: If you want GUNS, go to Garfield County!  Yay!

Diane Kendrick Dufresne
Diane Kendrick Dufresne

This sheriff is the poster board example for an idiot who has no critical thinking skills. Sure, why not make it easy for anyone to get a gun, even if they want it to commit a crime, commit murder, or commit suicide. Many, many people are stupid about this issue - reacting, not thinking. I am not interested in being afraid every day I go out of people carrying in Colorado, and trusting they are not reactive.

Joe Ponce de Carrano
Joe Ponce de Carrano

Obomber has the largest arms deal in history under his watch. It's ok to murder for natural resources and save a nickel on a gallon of gas, but no assault rifle for you! Imperialist logic.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Reich-wing Tea-bagger Loonery

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Brent Miller "states right vs federal govt rights"

Settled during the U$ Civil War.

Time to move on.

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@Dan Brown Is Ctrl F on mah picture box or the cheese grater with them thar letters n stuff?

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