By: Robert Davis
Colorado’s Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams has responded to attacks from Lindasue Smollen, a Boulder attorney who spent $9,000 of her own money to purchase space on six billboards supporting gun control in Reams’ county.
“More Americans have died of gun violence since 1970, including murders, suicides and accidents (1.4 million), than in all the wars in American history (1.3 million). Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” one of her signs reads.
Reams is a bold defender of the Second Amendment and has been outspoken in his opposition to the state’s recently passed red flag gun confiscation law.
“If a court order comes down telling a sheriff or deputy that they have to serve a red flag order, they have a choice to make,” Sheriff Reams told Gunpowder Magazine. “They can either go down the road of violating someone’s constitutional rights, or violate the court order, which would result in them sitting in jail for a period of time. Frankly, I’ll choose the later.”
Gov. Jared Polis signed the state’s red flag bill into law earlier this month. The law requires law enforcement officials to serve respondents with a concurrent protection order requiring them to surrender their weapons for up to 14 days while the initial hearings against the respondent proceed – without the respondent present.
Reams says this bill infringes upon the 4th, 5th, and 14th amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Upholding such a law would force him and other law enforcement officers to break their sworn oath to uphold the Constitution.
“Honestly, I don’t think there’s a way to make this law constitutional,” Reams said.
Smollen’s signs are along Highway 34, a major roadway for oil and gas tankers in Weld County.
“Sheriff Reams up there decided he will not enforce it, and he has decided on his own it’s unconstitutional,” Smollen told CBS4.
Reams was quick to point out how hypocritical Smollen’s message placement was.
“If this person were truly concerned about public safety they would understand that about 1.3 million people (worldwide) are killed in motor vehicle accidents every year yet the signs were posted along a busy highway…” Reams wrote on Facebook.
“I figured I would get a little back of pushback for not supporting this bill at some point,” Reams told KOA News Radio. “But, as I’ve said all along, I don’t think this bill follows any sort of due process that you and I know.”
Smollen told 9News she thinks Reams’ decision not to support the law is “distasteful.”
According to CBS Denver, “The billboards have drawn support and angry comments, one person posted online, ‘Keep your business in Boulder. You are there for a reason.’
“Smollen responded by saying, ‘You should be so lucky to live in Boulder.’"
Reams has said Smollen is entitled to exercise her First Amendment rights, and if that’s how she wants to do it, “so be it.
“When a law is passed that is unconstitutional, I have a tough decision to make,” Reams said. “And, I just can’t stand behind this law.”
Robert Davis is a general assignment reporter for Gunpowder Magazine. You can contact him at RobertDavis0414@gmail.com or on Twitter @davisonthebeat.