Screengrab from https://youtu.be/Veirlt4aERw

 

One of the battalion of leftwing progressive Democrats running for the presidency is former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper. Why is he running? Who knows. But his competitive advantage, according to him, is that it was on his watch that four, I would argue extreme, gun control bills were passed.

On March 20, 2013, Hickenlooper signed bills HB1224, HB1228 and HB1229. HB1224 created a limit of 15 rounds in magazines that could be bought, sold or transferred within the state. HB1229 requires background checks for any firearm transfer within the state, and HB1228 taxes firearm transfers to recover costs of the background checks from HB1229

Hickenlooper has been touting this accomplishment. Here he is in his March 7 announcement of his candidacy.

Over at Free Beacon, Stephen Gutowski, Charles Fain Lehman, and Todd Shepherd used Colorado state police data to analyze the effect of those gun control bills and what they found is not unexpected.

To assess the impact of HB 1229 on gun checks in Colorado, the Washington Free Beacon looked at data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI), originally obtained by the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety. Those data, which are monthly between July 2012 and December 2014, provide raw totals of background checks against sales by licensed gun dealers, by private individuals at gun shows, and by private individuals elsewhere.

Before the passage of the universal background check measure in 2013, Colorado had already required background checks on private sales at gun shows—CBI had been tracking those sales. HB 1229 expanded that requirement to nearly all other forms of private sales. At that point, CBI began tracking those sales as well.

Hickenlooper has claimed that, before his gun control extravaganza, most Colorado guns purchased did not involve a background check. This is just not true. The fact is that net registrations remained constant.

The number of registrations at gun shows decreased but one doesn’t know whether this was caused by a reduction in the number of gun shows, some of those gun show sales being reported as “private” sales, or a lot of people basically saying FOAD to the law. There is a hint that the latter may have some responsibility because while national background checks dropped by 11% during the period, Colorado checks dropped by 16%. Did they just have enough guns…or did they have enough Hickenlooper?

The funniest part of the equation is the attempt to turn firearms sales into the income stream to fund a crypto-fascist gun-grabber program. HB 1229 set a $7 fee on each background check required by a private or gun show sale. According to Gutkowski et al., the bill’s sponsors estimated that there would be 200,000 private and gun show sales per year. In the end, there were 4,830 such sales. Don’t spend it all in one place.

Ultimately, these additional laws rammed through credulous and gutless legislatures in the aftermath of mass shootings are simply window dressing. The number of private sales is relatively small. Most gun purchases take place with a federal firearms license holder somewhere in the mix. If I want to evade the law, I’ll simply sell my firearm for cash so there is no transaction record.

None of this matters because Hickenlooper isn’t going anywhere. Even if he were going somewhere, it wouldn’t matter because the important thing to the gun control Nazis is doing something that is virtuous. That it might be ineffective or counterproductive is irrelevant. Having the right thoughts is what counts.

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