Two mountain bikers in the Steamboat Springs, CO area were enjoying a beautiful summer ride in the Buffalo Pass area. They were riding a popular trail named “Flash of Gold.” It was 7:20 pm last Wednesday when they started to hear gunfire nearby. They soon realized it was aimed in their direction and immediately took cover behind anything they could manage. The bikers screamed and shouted at the shooters to no avail. They stayed hunkered down in this spot for nearly 30 nerve-racking minutes until the shooting began to cease.
One of the bikers was able to place a call to emergency services, who then got in contact with the Routt County Sheriffs Department. The Sheriff had located the shooters on the way to find the distressed bikers. Upon hearing the bikers’ account of the incident, summon’s were issued to all three shooters. The 3 men from out of state appeared to be under the influence of alcohol while discharging firearms, which in Colorado is a class 2 misdemeanor. Disobeying this law can bring up to a $1,000 fine or up to 12 months in jail.
In Colorado, it is illegal to be in possession of a firearm when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Colorado has quite forgiving laws when it comes to firearms, but shooting under the influence most definitely will not fly! Any time one shoots towards people or property, even unknowingly, this is when the law must become involved to ensure public safety. The best places to target shoot have a soft soil backdrop, like a hillside. This way one can be sure the bullets only travel so far and are not ricocheting to locations unknown. Local gun ranges are an even safer choice, for those undereducated in the ways of handling a firearm.