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“I’m against the bill, it doesn’t pertain to the mentally ill, it doesn’t help them . . . . ” Commissioner Randy Granzella, April 9, 2019

We are disheartened by Commissioner Randy Granzella’s statement in the April 9, 2019, BoCC meeting regarding Sheriff Speeze’s request that the county declares itself a gun rights Sanctuary County.

Commissioner Granzella is sadly mistaken. HB19-1177 does pertain to the mentally ill. This bill safeguards the mentally ill from suicide by gunshot – a statistically MAJOR threat to mentally ill or unstable individuals, especially men in the rural West. Equally important, HB19-1177 safeguards their loved ones. A shockingly high number of gunshot injuries and deaths are inflicted on unstable men’s wives, girlfriends and domestic partners – and their children.

Yes, the bill is not perfect, and perhaps not complete. But the realistic – and compassionate – course, is to move forward on the bill and work for additional mental health services in an additional bill.

In the meantime, people are dying. Should we quibble over the perfect bill or should we prioritize saving lives?

We are very grateful to Commissioner Felt and Commissioner Baker for their courageous and well-considered decision.

Katherine and Michael McCoy
Salida, CO