One Colorado sheriff is claiming that Democrats are pressuring pro-gun sheriffs in the state with tactics he think border on extortion.
In a radio interview with KVOR on Saturday, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said he received an email last week with a threat to stop or stall pay raises to the state’s elected sheriffs if they don’t support Colorado’s pending gun control legislation.
The email, sent from the offices of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, “basically said, Dem. leadership is very upset with the sheriffs and their opposition to the gun control bills,” Maketa said.
He claimed it said the Democrats were threatening to delay legislation that would give the sheriffs a long-delayed pay raise if they continue to speak out against the new push for more gun control laws.
In the radio interview, Maketa strongly suggested that the pressure being placed on sheriffs organization bordered on extortion and should be investigated.
Maketa said some sheriffs in the organization were suggesting they compromise and support one proposed bill that would remove firearms and ammunition from people accused of domestic violence before ever being convicted of a crime.
“They’re infringing on your Fourth Amendment rights and Fifth Amendment rights,” Maketa said.
He quoted statistics saying firearms were used in less than 2 percent of crimes reported in his state. Maketa also said that if guns are confiscated, blunt objects and instruments like knives and scissors should be as well, since they are used in domestic violence cases more often than guns.
Hear Maketa’s full interview 18-minute interview with KVOR’s Jeff Crank below. (The issue of the alleged coercion starts around the 6:30 mark.)
After the interview, Maketa took to his Facebook page to clarify that the email did not come directly from Colorado Democrats:
I want to make something very clear; I have not been directly threatened or coerced in any way nor would I tolerate any threat. A message delivered verbally to a representative of the Colorado Sheriff’s Association basically stated that the Senate Dems are very upset with the Colorado Sheriffs opposing the gun legislation proposed by the Senate Democrats. This message insinuated that this could negatively affect the salary bill which has been delayed and put off by the Democrats with the excuse that they would expect bipartisan support. I do believe the salary proposal is being held hostage and I believe that if they’re willing to send gun control measures without bipartisan support then they should be willing to take a stand as the majority leadership and follow a democrat-created commission’s recommendations.
It’s been seven years since the sheriffs have had a salary increase. Maketa’s post continued:
This inaction, and other vague insinuations, I take as quid pro quo. They are holding the salary of sheriffs hostage to gain compliance with gun control matters. I assure you that there is not a legislator on the dems’ side of the isle that will take ownership of this injustice, nor will they know where it came from, but their inaction will speak volumes. This salary proposal or recommendation has no bearing on me personally as it does not affect me since I am term limited.