Tuesday, April 12, 2016
CONTACT: Alan Franklin, Political Director at [email protected]

DENVER: After shocking comments from Colorado Sen. John Cooke of Greeley in a legislative debate yesterday, both suggesting that Coloradans break state law and providing advice on how citizens can do so, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Sen. Cooke to apologize for disregarding the laws he is charged with upholding as a lawmaker–or resign from the Colorado Senate.

“Everyone knows the gun lobby dislikes Colorado’s magazine limit law, but it’s the law of the land,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “Sen. John Cooke has every right to introduce legislation to repeal a law his benefactors in the gun industry doesn’t like. But when Sen. Cooke encourages citizens to break existing law, even telling them to cross state lines to buy illegal products in another state, he is going too far.”

During debate yesterday in the Colorado Senate over Senate Bill 16-113, Sen. John Cooke said that he tells constituents to “go to Wyoming” to purchase high-capacity magazines that are illegal in Colorado. “You can buy all you want up in Wyoming because they’re not illegal,” Sen. Cooke said, despite the fact that possessing that high-capacity magazine in Colorado is a class 2 misdemeanor. [1]

“As Weld County Sheriff, Sen. Cooke was responsible for policing the Wyoming border to stop illegal fireworks being smuggled into Colorado,” said Franklin. “Did Cooke tell Coloradans to ‘go to Wyoming’ for illegal fireworks? Would Cooke tell the citizens of Nebraska they have a right to take legal Colorado marijuana back across the border to a state where it is illegal?”

“Cooke’s flagrant encouragement of Coloradans to break the law, despite the risk of fines, jail time, and a criminal record, makes a mockery of his responsibilities as a lawmaker,” said Franklin. “If Cooke wants to advocate the breaking of Colorado law, he should not be in a position to either make or enforce our laws.”