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February 12, 2024 12:29 PM UTC

Extreme Gun Rights Group Demands Legislature Stop Legislating

  • by: Colorado Pols

The extreme, no-comprise gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) has been gradually losing influence in Colorado in recent years. That emasculation has never been more evident than it was today.

RMGO Executive Director Taylor “Cease and Desist” Rhodes

In a laugh-out-loud ridiculous letter dated Feb. 12, 2024, RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes is DEMANDING that Democratic leaders at the State Capitol immediately “cease and desist” all discussions about Senate Bill 24-131 (“Prohibit Carrying Firearms in Sensitive Places”). This, of course, is not how the legislative process works, but RMGO clearly doesn’t know what to do anymore since nobody takes them seriously and the inept Republican micro-minority in the state legislature can’t help them anyway. Take a look:

On behalf of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, I am writing to issue a formal demand for the immediate cease and desist of further proceedings concerning SB24-131. If enacted, this bill imposes egregious restrictions on the lawful keeping and bearing of firearms, thus violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens in Colorado.

Welp, Taylor Rhodes says the legislature has to stop legislating, so we guess that’s that!

[Click to read the entire letter, spelling mistake included: RMGO Cease and Desist letter_Senastive Places_2.12.24]

The letter goes on to list a couple of legal cases from various states across the country as some sort of proof that their “cease and desist” demand is justified:

In light of these legal precedents, we demand that all efforts to advance SB24-131 cease and desist and be immediately terminated. Failure to comply with this demand will compel Rocky Mountain Gun Owners to pursue all available legal remedies to protect the constitutional rights of RMGO Members and peaceable Colorado citizens. [Pols emphasis]

We anticipate your prompt acknowledgment of this cease and desist demand and expect confirmation of compliance within ten business days from the receipt of this letter….

Failure to comply will compel RMGO to pursue legal remedies! Oh noes!

This would be a more compelling threat if RMGO hadn’t twice lost a lawsuit just last year that sought to block legislation requiring a waiting period for gun purchases. RMGO is also trying to convince a court to block a ghost gun ban enacted by the Colorado legislature in 2023.

Former RMGO boss Dudley Brown

As Chris Perez wrote for Westword just last week, RMGO can’t really afford to do much more than issue threats anymore:

Still, the RMGO director admits that mounting legal fees led to tough financial times last year that prevented the group from taking on the ghost gun ban at first.

“Right around December, our bank account was looking very sad,” Rhodes confesses. [Pols emphasis] “We had legal bills out the wazoo related to our five active lawsuits. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to pay the staff right before Christmas. We had a legal bill due, and our members stepped up in a huge way and began supporting us. We didn’t miss payroll, we didn’t miss the attorney fees that we had to pay. Our members really killed it for us and I couldn’t be more thankful for their support.”

RMGO has “won” a handful of cases in the past, Rhodes notes, including one related to an attempt in 2010 by Colorado State University to ban Concealed Weapons Permit holders from carrying on campus. CSU later dropped the ban and the lawsuit was dropped. The group is still in the early stages of its other lawsuits.

“What we’re doing right now is going to change the trajectory of Colorado and gun rights as a whole across America,” Rhodes says. [Pols emphasis]

Look, we did a thing in 2010!

Rhodes even acknowledged to Westword that their “no-compromise” approach isn’t really that effective:

“We will not let a fringe group’s lawsuits against the good work of this body deter us from saving lives,” said House Speaker Julie McCluskie during her opening remarks to the 74th General Assembly last month.

While Rhodes tells Westword he wears the “fringe group” moniker “as a badge of honor,” he acknowledges that many members don’t feel the same way.

“We are simply fighting for the constitutional freedoms of peaceable Coloradans,” Rhodes says. “But we do know how people feel about this stuff.”

Our favorite Rhodes quote from the Westword story comes at the end:

“I can’t promise that we’re gonna win, but I can promise you that we aren’t going to die lying down.”

We can send dumbass letters all day, baby!

This 2018 attack by RMGO on Republican Cole Wist, then the Assistant House Minority Leader, did not work out well.

It is not really a surprise that RMGO is running out of both money and usefulness. The general demise of Colorado Republicans — particularly in the state legislature — has impacted RMGO’s ability to be anything other than a mild annoyance at the State Capitol, but that’s partly because RMGO’s long-running strategy of opposing Republicans who don’t agree with their “no compromise” nonsense has just made it easier for Democrats to win in a General Election.

RMGO has also failed bigly in its lobbying efforts lately. The 2023 legislative session got off to a rough start when RMGO meathead Kevin Lorusso testified in a committee hearing that Black kids shouldn’t be counted in gun violence statistics. Rhodes later tried to flex his organization’s muscles by demanding that Republicans dance for him; House Republicans followed those commands by staging a half-assed filibuster over legislation requiring a three-day waiting period for gun purchases. It didn’t help their efforts that Rhodes had promised to turn the State Capitol “into a circus” in response to Democratic proposal to curb gun violence; that “circus” ended up being just a small handful of wackos testifying in opposition to various bills.

The recalls that RMGO helped initiate in 2013, following several gun violence preventions laws passed in the state legislature, are now more of an historical curiosity than an ongoing concern for Democrats. As Democrats gradually gained more control in the state legislature in the following years, RMGO lost its only pressure-point; RMGO could theoretically still scare Republican legislators into submission, but there aren’t enough of them left to make a difference anyway.

Democrats are pushing ahead with new gun violence prevention legislation because that’s what Colorado voters want them to do. The “no compromise” approach pushed by RMGO is, quite simply, not something that Coloradans support. The only thing left for RMGO is to send silly letters to lawmakers threatening lawsuits that the group admits it has no ability to fund anyway.

As a wise man/woman once said: “Karma is a mother****er.”


2 thoughts on “Extreme Gun Rights Group Demands Legislature Stop Legislating

  1. The grift for RMGO might not be quite as good as it was prior to the Neville clan being kicked out of politics, but they are probably still playing the shell game : moving money from one “nonprofit” to another, and helping themselves from donations – they are, after all, their own favorite charity.

    And they can consult with themselves, and pay themselves for consulting! Nice to be in the RMGO club.

    I am hereby demanding that RMGO immediately cease and desist from the practice of preying on people’s fears and prejudices to increase profits for themselves personally, and for the firearms industry.

    There. That oughtta do it.

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