Rocky Mountain Gun Owners PAC * P.O. Box 3114 * Denver, CO 80201 * 303.432.3006
Profiles of Law-Abiding Citizens
Who Say NO on 22
Sheriff Bill Masters, San Miguel County (Telluride)
Laws like Amendment 22 once again fail to do anything but give peaceful citizens a false sense of security that criminals won't have guns. Last year
the Colorado Bureau of Investigation proudly announced that their firearm
purchase background checks have stopped over 80 firearm sales to convicted
murderers. As a Colorado Sheriff I like the idea that some convicted murderers were stopped, for at least a moment, from buying guns. However, it seems to me that we are ignoring the main problem, namely: Why in the hell are convicted murderers out walking around the streets?
Jennifer Armstrong, Graphic Designer
I've been close enough to sexual assault once in my life that I never want to be in that type of situation again. I will take the necessary steps to protect myself and my family. If I am denied my right to purchase a gun, I am denied my right to protect my loved ones.
Terry Chelius, Retired Police Officer
In 1995, I was a working police officer and law enforcement veteran of over 25 years (I am now retired). I presented myself at a Denver area police supply shop to purchase a Sig Sauer P220 for use in my profession. After a delay of about 20 minutes, the shop keeper informed me that I had been "denied" by CBI.
I waited the customary 14 days and was notified by CBI that I had been rejected
because I had been arrested in the past for a crime that "might" have been a
felony; they did not know if I had been convicted. The crime, "eluding or
attempting to elude police." The date, 1967. So, after nearly thirty years
this "heinous" crime of my youth came back to haunt me. I was informed by the CBI letter that it would be my responsibility to personally locate the
records and to prove myself innocent in order for the blight to be removed
from my records. I remembered the incident. In the summer of 1967 I was
pursued by a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy in an unmarked car. The case was tried in a Justice of the Peace Court in Golden. These courts
are no longer in use, having been replaced by the County Court system. I was found "not guilty." Case closed? Not exactly!
In 1995 I had to take time off work, drive to Golden from
Naturita, Colorado (350 miles) and try to get someone in the County Court system
to help find the old records so necessary to my case with CBI. Eventually I
found a lady that said she would work in her spare time to try to locate the
ancient records in the archives. Weeks later she called to say that she had
located the records and would forward them to me. The record finally reached me and showed that I was arrested as stated and found not guilty as I have stated.
CBI should have known that "eluding" did not become a felony until
the 1970s or 1980s. And only then if certain aggravating circumstances are
present. Therefore the issue was a misdemeanor on its face when CBI
discovered it in their files. It is also interesting to note that I served
the US Navy in Vietnam from 1967-1970 after which I served as a police
officer in Colorado in numerous venue's, all of which finger printed me and
investigated my background prior to hiring me. None of those agencies even
bothered to mention the old arrest in 1967 as having any bearing upon their
decision to hire me.
In a second case in 1997, I attempted to purchase a .45 cal. Ruger Vaquero at the
Country General store in Grand Junction. Once again my old
buddies at CBI stated that I was being "denied." Two weeks later, the letter
from CBI arrived and informed me that I had previously been arrested for a
crime that may have been a felony and once again, they did not know what the outcome of the case was. This time I was accused of simple assault in a 1964 case, once again this case originated in Jefferson County. Once again the
case was dismissed and was never a felony from the get go.
I got my longtime
friend, Representative Ken Clouber of Leadville,. involved at this point and
it is my understanding that he and Carl Whiteside, the director of CBI, got a
few things worked out with CBI's system.
I have never been denied since; however, I'm certain that Mrs. Brady and her
ilk feel much better for having put an honest citizen through a maze of
I was once an anti-gun person like the authors of amendment 22. In fact,
until five years ago I might have voted "yes" on 22. Because, like the
authors of 22, I could not see the dangers of such a law.
However, it was
not until I nearly became a statistic, that I realized the true consequences
of such a law. I am a SMALL "law abiding" citizen. I do not hurt others or
threaten them. However, the sad fact is others have attempted to hurt and
have threatened me in the past. Because I am small, I seem to appear an easy
target. Last summer I was the victim of a stalking. I love to walk, and tend
to do so any day the weather allows. A man began to follow me, he drove
along side of the road as I walked up an off ramp to the highway. There was
no road there, but he drove along side of me. I tried to get the attention
of a man waiting in line at a fast food drive in, but he was noticeably
uncomfortable and would not look at me. I could not go inside, I was waiting
for my boyfriend to pick me up. I feared that if I were to go into the store
or restaurant, my boyfriend would not see where I had gone, and I would have
to hope this man would not attempt anything in a public place.
Unfortunately, I honestly felt he would hurt me. He drove over a median to
get to where I was, drove the wrong way in traffic, and was clearly letting
me know he was not going to leave any time soon. This would not be over soon
and would not be the last time. I spoke with the police, but the plain truth
of the matter is this, they can not sit around and protect me, they will be
there if he hurts me or heaven forbid, kills me, but they can not prevent
it. I can go after a restraining order, but without knowing who this was or
where he was from, I had no way to do this, and a restraining order is not
much of a deterrent. I decided to take personal protection class' for
handgun use. I know how to shoot, and for the past five years (when I
dropped my ignorance at the curb and realized that guns do not kill people
do), and have enjoyed perfecting my skills.
However, a public situation is
completely different, and I felt I needed to be prepared. Because of this
man, I was afraid to walk. I have been walking all of my life, and at 30 I
did not relish the thought of giving it up. But I was afraid, I looked over
my shoulder constantly, I would walk around several different blocks and in
circles, in the event anyone was watching, I didn't want them to know where
my home was. Until I felt comfortable enough to carry I decided to carry
mace and a cell phone.
I still was not safe and I knew it. So the time came
for me to purchase my gun. I thought long and hard about what to get. I do
not have money, but did not want to go cheap. This thought process was, it
turns out, was a wasted effort. You see I may not pass that background
check. Why you ask. Well it is not because I broke a law or hurt anyone. I
was charged with a crime I DID NOT COMMIT. In fact no crime had been
committed, and the charges were dropped. I want the charge expunged but this
is a lengthy process.
This amendment would make a citizen guilty until
proven innocent. Criminals are not affected by such laws, people like me
are. (I will not say how this story ended, other than to say I did follow
the law, that is what a law abiding citizen has the tendency to do) I am
tired of paying for the mistakes of others. I wake up each day with the
intention of being the best person God would like for me to be. I fight to
do the right things as often as possible, if not always.
Why can't the
citizens of this country take responsibility for their own actions? Why do
we point to a gun and say "bad", and the person who shot it is still walking
the streets? With Freedom comes responsibility, the more responsibility we
hand over to the government the more Freedom we loose. I for one would
rather be responsible for my own actions and be free. How many will vote yes on 22 with false expectations?