Emotions are still running high in Colorado where gun rights are concerned. The state enacted controversial gun control laws in July 2013 in the aftermath of tragic shootings in Connecticut and closer to home in Aurora. Anyone who thought time would settle the roiling waters stirred up by passage of these laws has been proven wrong.
Just ask Adam Sinclair, a Denver-based entrepreneur who describes himself as a “non-radical” gun rights supporter until the laws were passed. The way the laws were written and the “shady” way they were pushed through by the state’s Liberal legislators turned Sinclair into a more aggressive proponent of Second Amendment rights, he explained in a recent interview.
Thus was born the concept of “Colorado Caliber,” Sinclair’s line of apparel that features the Colorado State Flag designed with a variety of firearms. The apparel line has been extremely popular and has a rabid fan base on Facebook. Sinclair says he wasn’t really surprised by the popularity of the design. “It has become somewhat symbolic of our efforts in Colorado to protect our Second Amendment rights,” he said.
Sinclair has become a fixture at gun shows along Colorado’s Front Range, where he displays and sells a variety of items featuring the Colorado Caliber design – including t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, hats and bumper stickers. Online sales of the apparel line remain brisk, boosted by Facebook advertising that targets people inclined to support the Second Amendment.
A portion of proceeds from all these sales goes to what Sinclair calls “Second Amendment education efforts.”
Sinclair is proud of the design and the meaning behind it. “It’s a way of celebrating your love of Colorado while also saying you support the Second Amendment,” he said. “People get it. Our core customer is someone who enjoys the outdoors, probably owns a gun for hunting and maybe self defense, and has a patriotic streak in them,” he explained.
The design has stirred some controversy, Sinclair admits. “I knew going in that not everyone would love this design,” he said. He has been accused of desecrating the Colorado State Flag and of pandering to “gun nuts.”
Sinclair says he isn’t pandering to anyone. “I love this state,” says the Colorado native. “And I think the Constitution gives us a clearly spelled out right to own and bear arms. I’m a veteran so I have a lot of respect for the Constitution and it’s almost a reflex for me to stand up and defend it when it comes under attack.”
Sinclair served in the U.S. Navy and says he has “tons of respect” for what members of the military do for this country. “We have tons of Facebook fans in the military,” he said. “We have shipped shirts and hats to all kinds of military bases around the world and nothing thrills me more than to receive pictures of these freedom fighters wearing the Colorado Caliber design in Afghanistan, for instance.”
Meanwhile, political fallout from the new gun control laws continues to make headlines. On June 13, 2014 – almost a year after the laws were enacted – Governor John Hickenlooper apologized to Colorado’s county sheriffs for not meeting with them prior to pushing the laws through.
Most of Colorado’s sheriffs are suing to overturn the gun control laws Hickenlooper signed last year, saying they violate the Constitution.
Sinclair nods upon hearing news of Hickenlooper’s apology. “Politicians like to think that they can do something like this and then eventually the public will forget it and move on to the next controversy the media chooses to cover,” he said. “I like to think Colorado Caliber helped keep this political travesty front and center.”