DENVER–The Pueblo County Republican Party has the perfect gift for gun-control advocates who want to show their gun-free pride.
The party is selling professionally printed signs that say “GUN FREE ZONE” for display outside homes and businesses. Also available for sale are signs for gun-rights advocates saying, “NOT A GUN FREE ZONE.”
So far there’s been a good deal more interest in the sign indicating that there may be firearms on the premises. That’s the placard now on display outside the party’s headquarters on Lincoln Street, said Pueblo County Republican Party chair Becky Mizel.
“So far we’ve gotten a lot of calls from people who want one,” said Mizel.
What about the signs ensuring that the property owners are unarmed? She said those placards aren’t exactly selling like hotcakes, although she added that “a man just walked in a few minutes ago and wanted one.”
The signs are the brainchild of George Rivera, the party’s director of community outreach and retired Pueblo deputy chief of police. He said he came up with the idea after learning of a similar effort in New York, where Project Veritas offered in January to place “proudly gun-free” signs in the yards of journalists whose publications listed online a map showing the homes of gun owners.
As it turned out, none of the journalists was willing to display that message on their property.
The signs cost $10 each, but the Pueblo County GOP is willing to give free “GUN FREE ZONE” placards to Democratic legislators who voted in favor of the three gun-control bills signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in March.
“If they truly believe in their principles and ideals, we think they would gladly take a sign and post it in their front yard,” said Rivera.
He said he would personally post a “GUN FREE ZONE” placard at the home of state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo), a supporter of the gun-control legislation, if she were interested in having one.
“We welcome her to call, and we’ll come place it in her yard free of charge, provided she keeps it up until the next legislative session,” said Rivera.
Despite its generally Democratic voting record, Pueblo County has seen an enormous backlash to the legislature’s gun-control agenda, said Mizel.
“People think we’re such a liberal county, but a lot of people here are really upset about this: Democrats, independents, and of course Republicans,” she said.
That includes Hispanic voters, a traditional Democratic Party constituency, said Rivera.
“Democrat or Republican, this gun-control issue has definitely brought out the conservative in people,” said Rivera. “We have a large Hispanic population here, and the truth is that a lot of Hispanics love to go hunting, and they have a problem with these laws.”
The full text of the pro-gun control sign says, “The Owner of This Property Supports Gun Control and Hereby Declares These Premises To Be a GUN FREE ZONE.”
The message continues, “Disclaimer!!! The Pueblo County Republican Party and the Producers of This Sign Accept No Liability For Any Damages or Injury Sustained by Anyone or Anything While They Are On the Premises Upon Which This Sign Has Been Posted.”
Mizel said the party will be selling both signs April 13-14 at the Tanner Gun Show at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo.