Renfroe bill would suspend governor’s right in an emergency to control gun sales

A Senate bill introduced this week and sponsored by Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, aims to suspend the governor’s authority to limit citizens’ access to firearms during a state of disaster emergency.

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Under current law, the governor has the right to “suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives.” Renfroe’s bill would strike firearms from the statute.

The bill has found a House sponsor in Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, who told the Colorado Independent that his support for the bill stems from fear that Coloradans might require full access to firearms in an emergency.

“It is important that when Colorado is under threat that its citizens continue to have the ability to protect themselves,” Sonnenberg said.

Rep. Joel Judd, D-Denver, told the Colorado Independent he believed the governor needs the power to regulate the supply of weapons in the case of riots, for example.

This bill, he said, holds that “it’s OK to ban alcohol but we are not going to ban firearms. We want all these rioters to go out and buy these guns and blast away everybody.

“I understand that sentiment, that if there is a riot, you want to be able to buy a gun and shoot all of the rioters. But that’s just putting fuel on the fire.”

Judd says he doubts Renfroe’s bill will make it out of the Senate.

The National Rifle Association objected strongly to and has posted material on events that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for example, when authorities confiscated guns from licensed owners.

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