Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - July 5, 2013

All nine members of Loveland's City Council signed a letter to Colorado Governor John
Hickenlooper asking that he not enforce newly passed gun control measure HB13-1229 due
to its detrimental impact on local youth charities like Colorado Youth Outdoors and
Pheasants Forever.

The letter signed by all members of Loveland's City Council and dated July 2, begins,

"We, the City Council of Loveland, Colorado write you to ask that you stay the
enforcement of a recent House Bill that you signed into law, House Bill 13-1229,
concerning the transfer of firearms."

Loveland based Colorado Youth Outdoors requested the letter claiming they are
detrimentally impacted by the new law which requires background checks before and after
any youth is allowed to use a firearm for instruction lasting longer than 72 hours.  

Bob Hewson, Executive Director of CYO, spoke to Loveland's City Council on July 2, as did
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith regarding the punitive nature of the bill and inability of
youth outdoor sports that rely on shared and borrowed guns to continue under the newly
passed strict provisions of the bill.  Smith explained the new law signed by Governor
Hickenlooper doesn't even address motive for the newly created crimes meaning he would
be required to arrest an organization member after someone failed to return a firearm
within the strict 3 day limit.  

Colorado Youth Outdoors, like Pheasants Forever which also addressed the council, rely on
borrowed and donated firearms to supply young people and their parents often a first-time
sporting experience.    

Councilman Hugh McKean first proposed a letter to the governor asking for a stay of
enforcement on both House Bill 13-1224 (magazine size limit) and HB 13-1229 (transfer of
firearms) but agreed to change the language in order to get the support of Mayor Gutierrez
and several other council members.   The original
letter to the Governor  proposed by
Councilman Hugh McKean included a paragraph about a current legal action against the law
by various county sheriffs and the need to address those concerns.

Mayor Cecil Gutierrez along with council members Joan Shaffer, Ralph Trenary and Phil
Farley are apparent supporters of HB13-1224 which limits magazine capacities to no more
than 15 rounds and therefore argued they could not sign the letter unless it was removed.  
For his part, Hewson told council CYO's concern is with HB13-1229.

Procedural Maneuvering

McKean placed the item on the council's agenda under "Councilor reports" after receiving
the required support of three other councilors (Fogle, Klassen, Clark) to discuss the item at
the July 2, 2013 public meeting but Dave Clark could not attend the meeting due to business
commitments leaving supporters of the original draft letter in the minority.   McKean sent
his colleagues the proposed draft of the letter for the governor along with the r
equest to
council by CYO before 5:00 PM on July 1, 2013.

Mayor Gutierrez attempted to kill the item several times during the council meeting arguing
he didn't have enough time to prepare, was largely unaware of the new gun control laws and
even argued the CML (Colorado Municipal League) hadn't taken a position on the
legislation.   Councilman Ralph Trenary suggested he could not have a position on whether
the letter should be sent until city staff studied the issue and gave him their

McKean asked numerous times for council consensus on allowing those gathered in the
audience an opportunity to speak to the item including the two Loveland non-profits that
initiated the request.   Mayor Gutierrez said he would allow only two businesses an
opportunity to speak but could not agree to "a broader discussion" by allowing others in the
audience to contribute.  Among the some fifty members of the public who arrived to
comment on the item were Colorado State House Representative Brian DelGrosso, Larimer
County Sheriff Justin Smith and Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly.

Ironically, Gutierrez argued that he didn't think enough people were aware of the item being
on the agenda and therefore only wanted to hear from the two businesses that raised the
issue while his colleagues joined him in censoring the discussion to only those called by
name to the podium by the council instead of allowing residents of Loveland to speak.  
Eventually, Sheriff Smith and a few other officials or business owners were allowed to
address the council but not residents of Loveland who attended the meeting.

Mayor Pro Tem Daryle Klassen finally commented the public hearing would have already
been nearly half over if they only allowed the public to speak instead of debating the matter
so long to which the audience broke out in thunderous applause and Gutierrez called Bob
Hewson to the microphone.

Next HB13-1224

The consensus of council when removing HB13-1224 from the original letter draft was to
bring the item back separately and consider another letter to the governor on that issue
alone.  Gathered in the audience were owners of Loveland's Front Range Gun Club and
various other Loveland businesses impacted by the state's new gun control laws.  Loveland's
City Council did agree to hear their concerns along with public comments when the item is
agendized for a future meeting.  Members of Loveland's business community were asked to
prepare a letter for council regarding the impact of HB13-1224 on their businesses in
Youth outdoor groups Pheasants Forever and
Colorado Youth Outdoors (CYO) asked Loveland's
Council for support by requesting a stay of
enforcement by the governor of strict new gun
control laws impacting their organizations
Council Tells Governor Not To
Enforce Gun Control Law
Councilman Ralph Trenary tried to argue council
procedures didn't allow for public
communications.  See meeting highlight video as
Mayor Gutierrez tried to kill the item while some
colleagues joined him in censoring the public
comments after Councilman Hugh McKean
introduced the proposed letter.

see video
Stan Barthlama of Pheasants Forever
speaks to Loveland's City Council

see video
Bob Hewson of Colorado Youth Outdoors
(CYO) speaks to Loveland's City Council

see video
Councilwoman Joan Shaffer confused about
which state bills the council is discussing

see video