Colorado’s controversial new gun law requiring a background check for any transfer of a firearm has left one woman unarmed.
Now she’s frustrated that her weapon, taken by police for safekeeping after a car accident, isn’t being returned.
Sara Warren said Fort Collins police took her Ruger SR9, which she uses for personal protection in her job as a maid when visiting clients’ homes, after an accident required her to be transported to the hospital.
The police want to give it back, but a new universal background check law passed last year amid much controversy requires a Federal Firearms License background check.
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Fort Collins police don’t have an FFL holder on staff.
“We had an opinion from our city attorney and district attorney not to return firearms without a (Federal Firearms License) check, and we don’t have an FFL person in our office,” Fort Collins deputy chief Jim Szakmeister told the Loveland Reporter Herald.
Warren said she’s been in touch with the police repeatedly about getting her gun back, but was given no options, the paper reported. She said she’s turned down jobs because she doesn’t feel safe entering strangers’ homes without protection.
“I’m a lawful citizen,” she told the Reporter Herald. “I use my gun legally. I need my gun. This is ridiculous to me. There are people out there who can’t get their guns back. They haven’t done anything wrong.”
The background check law, and another that limits the size of ammunition magazines, spurred gun owners to recall two Democratic state senators who supported them last year. Another resigned rather than face a recall.
Most of Colorado’s elected sheriffs filed suit against the state to overturn the laws, which they say are either unenforceable or place too much of a burden on law-abiding gun owners.
“I’m told there are other people in this situation,” Sheriff Justin Smith told the Reporter Herald, referring to Warren’s inability to get her gun back. “It’s terrible when a law-abiding citizen gets caught up in something like this and it causes them to lose faith in their government.”
The police have hit on a one-time solution and are arranging for Warren and others in a similar situation to meet officers at a local outdoor store with an FFL license. Szakmeister told the newspaper he’s not sure who will pay for the background checks.
“We’re working on a long-term solution,” he said. “The greatest solution would be for the legislators to put in a police exemption. Otherwise we’re probably going to have to get an FFL and find someone in the office willing to work in that capacity.”
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