Editor:It appears that the majority of Colorado sheriffs, including the one we elected in Montezuma County, do not understand the limits of their authority. Sheriffs are elected to enforce the laws that are in place. They are not entitled to decide which laws to enforce and which ones to oppose because they do not approve of them. It is the responsibility of state legislatures to make laws and to modify or replace them as they deem necessary, as it is of our Congress.
At the moment, most of Colorado's sheriffs have banded together to collectively file a lawsuit challenging the gun-control law recently passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. The lawsuit claims that the new law violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, overlooking the fact that the Second Amendment is not an absolute right but is subject to reasonable restrictions as determined by federal and state governments. Over time, the courts have consistently found that the Second Amendment is not an absolute right. The very language of the amendment is restrictive. The "equal protection of the laws" of the Fourteenth Amendment requires government officials at all levels to impartially administer the laws to guarantee the right of all citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The new Colorado gun laws enhance the conditions essential to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Rightfully and logically, the court should rule that the sheriffs have no standing to bring the lawsuit, that their action breaches the limits of their authority. Let the gun lobby groups that are funding the lawsuit come out of hiding and bring the lawsuit. The sheriffs claim that with their lawsuit they are representing the will of their constituents. But that is not their job, or even right. That function belongs to the state legislators we elect to represent us. The sheriffs of Colorado need to cool their vigilante ardor and get back to carrying out their duties as prescribed by the law.