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Colorado Supreme Court to decide on large-capacity magazine ban

Rifle Magazines
AP File Photo, 2013

DENVER – A challenge to Colorado’s large-capacity magazine ban of 2013 will be heard by the Colorado Supreme Court roughly three years after a lawsuit was filed by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Association for Gun Rights.

Every year, there is an effort in the Colorado General Assembly to have the law overturned. Every year it fails.

State lawmakers approved of prohibiting the sale, transfer, or possession of a “large-capacity magazine” capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition in the wake of the 2012 Aurora theatre shooting which claimed the lives of 12 people. Dozens more suffered gunshot-related wounds.

A primary misconception of the law is that it only applies to semi-automatic rifles. However, it also includes pistols and shotguns.

Under state law, a large-capacity magazine is defined as:

  • A fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip, or similar device capable of accepting, or that is designed to be readily converted to accept, more than fifteen rounds of ammunition;
  • A fixed, tubular shotgun magazine that holds more than twenty-eight inches of shotgun shells, including any extension device that is attached to the magazine and holds additional shotgun shells; or
  • A nontubular, detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip, or similar device that is capable of accepting more than eight shotgun shells when combined with a fixed magazine.

Large-capacity magazine does not mean:

  • A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than fifteen rounds of ammunition;
  • An attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition; or
  • A tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners argue the limitations put in place violate a person’s state constitutional rights to bear arms. LINK: Constitution of the State of Colorado

Article II, Section 13 Right to bear arms.

The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.

The law was previously found to be constitutional by the Colorado Court of Appeals and a district court.  See Robertson v. City and County of Denver and Trinen v. City and County of Denver.

Colorado Revised Statute 18-12-302, calls for a class 2 misdemeanor charge against anyone who violates the restrictions. A second conviction carries a class 1 misdemeanor charge. Anyone found to be in possession of a large-capacity magazine during the commission of a felony would be charged with a class 6 felony.

The exceptions to the law include anyone who owned the magazines prior to July 1, 2013 and maintains continuous possession. All magazines manufactured in the state are required to include a permanent stamp or marking indicating it was manufactured after that date.

Firearms accessory manufacturer Magpul was based in Erie, Colorado at the time the law was passed. As a result, the company moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas and relocated their manufacturing facilities.

RELATED:

El Paso County is carrying concealed more than any other county

Colorado Bureau of Investigation – Firearm and Weapons Related Statutes

 

Benjamin Lloyd

Benjamin Lloyd

Digital Executive Producer for KOAA News 5. Email - blloyd@koaa.com Twitter: @Ben_L_Lloyd​
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