There wasn’t even a crime committed. The woman from Loveland, Colorado was involved in a car accident, and while she was at the hospital, her gun was taken and given to Fort Collins Police Services.
Sara Warren works as a maid and often visits her customers’ homes alone and needs her Ruger compact SR9 handgun on her for protection. Because the police have her gun, she’s had to turn down job requests.
According to the law, in order to transfer that gun back to its rightful owner, there has to be a background check given by a Federal Firearms License agent, something that this particular police department doesn’t have. As long as they don’t have one, they can’t perform the necessary check, and the woman won’t get her gun back.
Due to advice from the city attorney’s office based on the Colorado gun transfer laws that went into effect July 1, 2013, the police have been unable to return her property.
“I’m told there are other people in this situation,” Sheriff Justin Smith said. “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.”
Warren said she used her Ruger compact SR9 handgun as protection during her work as a maid, entering strangers’ homes alone. She has had to turn down work, not willing to risk her safety.
“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,” said Fort Collins deputy chief Jim Szakmeister.
Warren said she has been in contact with Fort Collins police and the city attorney’s office since her accident, demanding a way for her property to be returned to her. No options were offered her.
“I’m a lawful citizen. I use my gun legally. I need my gun … this is ridiculous to me,” Warren said. “There are people out there who can’t get their guns back. They haven’t done anything wrong.”
This law isn’t protecting anyone. It’s just an excuse for the government to take someone’s guns away. Her gun had nothing to do with any crime, and it had nothing to do with her car accident. And now that she doesn’t have her gun, she doesn’t feel safe going to work where she’ll be at strangers’ houses alone. I don’t blame her.
Instead of trying to add some exemption in the state law for police, which is what the Fort Collins deputy chief wants, they should just repeal the law. That would be the best solution.