Moffat County commissioners draft language to uphold gun owner rights |

Moffat County commissioners draft language to uphold gun owner rights

Joe Moylan

This Daltron AR-15, foreground, features standard issue U.S. Military specifications including, .223 calibre, 16-inch barrel and magazine capacities ranging from five to 30 rounds. If an assault weapons ban is passed by the Colorado General Assembly or by Congress, the AR-15 would likely be among the list of restricted firearms.

Moffat County's elected commissioners don't plan to sit idly by while gun control measures are debated at the state and federal levels.

In response to potential legislation aimed at reforming existing gun laws, the Moffat County Commission is readying a resolution of its own supporting Second Amendment rights. Commissioner John Kinkaid presented draft language during Tuesday's meeting that would, if approved by the board, confirm the commissioners' position about the rights of citizens in Moffat County to bear arms.

The resolution reads:

"Whereas, each Moffat County Commissioner has sworn to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, and the Constitution of the State of Colorado. Therefore, be it resolved that the Moffat County Commissioners affirm the right of our citizens to be armed in Moffat County."

Kinkaid drafted the resolution language after last week's Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots meeting, where Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz addressed the topic with more than 160 residents at the American Legion Post 62 meeting hall at Shadow Mountain Village.

During that meeting, Jantz cited a County Sheriffs of Colorado position paper that asks the Colorado General Assembly to table all gun control bills for at least a year.

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Although the County Sheriffs of Colorado penned the paper in an effort to prevent a knee-jerk response by state legislators to a rash of mass shootings during the past year in Colorado and across the country, Jantz told the audience he expects some type of anti-gun legislation to pass this year at the state and federal levels.

"These actions give the impression of not being very well thought out," Jantz said Tuesday. "The purpose of me having the meeting (last week) is we, as responsible gun owners, need to be sympathetic and compassionate to the thousands of people who are hurting for the loss of life at the Century Theaters and Sandy Hook Elementary.

"We need to make sure gun laws do not harm law-abiding gun owners who have done nothing wrong, and focus on justice on laws that already exist."

In addition to asking lawmakers to table gun legislation, Jantz said County Sheriffs of Colorado would oppose all anti-gun legislation, including bans on assault weapons, private firearms sales and high-capacity magazines; state gun registration requirements; a statewide conceal carry permit database; and restrictions on bulk ammo sales.

Jantz also said he would not enforce any federal firearms bans in Moffat County.

"I'm not a federal official — I can't cite under federal statutes or regulations, I don't have that authority," Jantz said. "And I will not, it's not up to me to enforce those regulations."

Kinkaid's resolution will be formally drafted by Moffat County Attorney Rebecca Tyree and presented for approval during next week's regularly scheduled Moffat County Commission meeting.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or