I-594 vagueness

I-594 has a number of issues that are not clear. Perhaps the most vague is section 3. (4)(f)(ii) which is an exception to the requirement that background checks need not be done prior to a transfer:

if the temporary transfer occurs, and the firearm is kept at all times, at an established shooting range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located;

Emphasis added.

The question is what does “kept at all times” mean? Does this mean for the duration of the transfer or does it mean the gun stays at the range until the end of time? Well, we might be able to rule out “until the end of time”. But it could easily be interpreted as the gun belongs to the range such as a rental gun.

I think we can get a clue as to what was meant by this by the counter example in section 3. (4)(f)(iii):

if the temporary transfer occurs and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively at a lawful organized competition involving the use of a firearm,

Emphasis added.

Notice the different language used. Had they intended for the first exemption to mean “the gun must not leave the range while in use by your friend” or something similar they would (should?) have used language such as:

if the temporary transfer occurs, and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively at an established shooting range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located;

While one could argue that I am giving them too much credit for deliberate and clear use of the language I wonder what the courts will think. And keep in mind this is the age of Gruber and admitted deliberate deception by the authors of the law. The authors of I-594 have close philosophical ties to the authors of Obamacare. I strongly suspect they intended for it to be ambiguous so they could claim one thing before the election and another when it was being enforced.


10 thoughts on “I-594 vagueness

  1. The origins of this legislation was common to the origins of the Senate bill that Chuck Schumer introduced a year and a half ago. That bill had similar, incoherent references to narrowly qualify a shooting range.

  2. Joe, as you know Colorado recently passed among other misguided laws, a requirement of a background check for any “transfer” of a firearm. It is so vague that it “could mean” it is illegal to hand a gun to a range partner to try. Of course our Howdy Doody Governor says he’s sure it was not intended that way, but who wants to depend on the benevolence of the kind of people that come up with these laws in the first place. The question is, are these people really that stupid or just evil? My take on it is this, the ones at the top like Bloomberg are pure evil, the ones that do their bidding like the “formerly Democrat controled State Legislature” are just incredibly stupid. While our votes could not quite overcome the Democrat voter fraud factor to remove the Governor, we did recall a couple of the turkeys, force the resignation of another, and turn the control over to the Republicans. But we still have the stupid laws.

  3. Ambiguous language before an election is useful, but what is really horrible is the prosecutorial discretion this ambiguity allows in future.

    If I can’t understand how to legally exercise my right, I’m much less likely to try, considering the penalties involved in doing it against this highly flexible language.

    • I think the ambiguity and complexity is deliberate, in order for Gruber the electorate into supporting it and voting for it, then in order to deliberately have a chilling effect on those that desire to be law abiding, because they don’t want to walk into the legal minefield. They are TRYING to scare the marginal players away.

  4. Yeah, I read it as meaning a gun that is always kept at a range as well (range rental, etc), due to the different language used elsewhere to define a gun kept for the duration of an event.

    If this was “just a mistake” in drafting, then that is also a big deal, since (as far as I understand) the law cannot be fixed by the legislature for two years. If you want a fix before then it has to go through another ballot measure. That means that the people who drafted the bill are either incompetent (and therefor have no business drafting legislation), or they are malicious (and ditto).

    I wonder if Ubu will weigh in with her profound legal insights like she did in the last I-594 thread. . .

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  6. There’s no such thing as a legislative “mistake”. If the law is vague and contradictory, it’s because the legislature WANTED it to be vague and contradictory.

  7. After looking at the proposed initiative that will go to the legislature this upcoming session and then to the ballot if the legislators fail to approve it, the wording is nearly the same as the I-594 POS. Sadly, bloomie and margabby and ms. s.t.watts will be here with truck loads of cash to convince the nolow voters that this will make everybody safer and never again will a bad guy or nut job be able to obtain a firearm. At least that’s what they’ll use to sell it. There’s enough nolows in Vegas to outvote the ruralistas. Hopefully we’ll get a little more assistance from the pro-gun side. Then again since the next (s)election cycle will be a general (s)election and lots of gop-e seats will by up for grabs, I doubt if they’ll do much to support us. Unless they learned a hard lesson from the Washington debacle.

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