While universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, the federal government has yet to enact any new gun control laws, but that isn’t stopping states from enacting their own laws. And in the case of Colorado, the state enacting its own laws is apparently seen as a trespass by some local sheriffs.
Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said he won’t enforce either gun-control measure waiting to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper, saying the laws are “unenforceable” and would “give a false sense of security.”
One bill passed Friday would expand requirements to have background checks for firearm purchases. Hickenlooper is expected to sign it into law within two weeks. [...]
Cooke said he, like other county sheriffs, “won’t bother enforcing” the laws because it will be impossible for them to keep track of how the requirements are being met by gun owners. He said he and other sheriffs are considering a lawsuit against the state to block the measures if they are signed into law.
What’s amusing to me about the “states’ rights” line of argument is that it tends to only be a factor in cases where the state is dominated by conservative politics, conservative state lawmakers, and conservative governors. When the shoe is on the other foot, “states’ rights” no longer seems like such a good idea.
States are free to enact their own laws, but they cannot supersede federal law.