Is CO Giving Secret Service The Power to Arrest Sheriffs?

Colorado sheriffs have gone on record against enforcement of the unconstitutional Colorado gun rights restrictions. Scuttlebutt is that noncompliant law enforcement officers are in the crosshairs of the governor. The rumor grew out of proposed SB 13-013, appointing certain federal agents as Colorado peace officers. To quote from the bill’s summary, “The bill gives a special agent, uniform division officer, physical security technician, physical security specialist, or special officer of the United States secret service limited peace officer authority while working in Colorado.” Should the Sheriffs be afraid? . . .

Under Colorado Statutes §16-3-110, federal officers who are licensed to kill authorized to use deadly force already have limited peace officer status in Colorado, entitling them to make misdemeanor and felony arrests for state law violations that they actually observe (they don’t need state peace officer status to make arrests for federal law violations, observed or not). SB 13-013 gives federal Secret Service Agents broadened powers to enforce state laws.

If passed, the Feds will have the additional power to make state law arrests based on observation, probable cause in an emergency, or when assisting Colorado cops by invitation or as part of a joint task force.

Sorting out the truth of the rumor first requires determining whether a sheriff’s willful non-enforcement would be a crime. Absent some statute or case that I don’t know about, I’m inclined to say no. If this proposal places anyone in the crosshairs, it would be Joe or Jane Citizen with a standard PMAG. But if that’s the case, why would Colorado enlist the Secret Service and not the ATF?

We’ll find out more about this bill in committee and floor debates.