On a day of momentous U.S. Supreme Court action, the Colorado Supreme Court lays down the law locally by unanimously upholding the state’s 2013 15-round limit on gun magazine capacity passed in the wake of the Aurora theater and other mass shootings the previous year–9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger reports:
The Colorado Supreme Court issued its ruling Monday morning, ending the seven-year challenge by Loveland-based Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.
In 2013, one year after the Aurora Theater Shooting, Colorado’s democratic-controlled legislature passed a number of gun reform bills, including House Bill 13-1224, which banned the sale and transfer of magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition. Then-Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law, which took effect July 1, 2013…
“We hold that HB 1224 is a reasonable exercise of the police power that has neither the purpose nor effect of nullifying the right to bear arms in self-defense encompassed by article II, section 13 of the Colorado Constitution,” the 7-0 ruling concluded.
The challenge to the 2013 magazine limit passed in Colorado cited the gun rights language of the Colorado Constitution, which Rocky Mountain Gun Owners has argued is more restrictive against regulations on guns than the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. At the federal level, Colorado is of course not the only state with a limit on magazine capacity, so the ability of local gun-rights activists to score some kind of judicial coup with our state’s “unique” constitutional language ends here.
Seven years ago the polls still showed strong public support for the laws passed in Colorado including the magazine limit, but the fierce political retaliation engineered and funded by the gun lobby against Colorado Democrats for daring to pass these bills overcame public support in successful recall elections. Since the passage of Colorado’s landmark package of gun safety bills in 2013, the issue has evolved to the point where gun control is a much less politically risky subject for Democrats to take on.
With Colorado’s magazine limit now unanimously upheld in the state’s highest court, the next order of business should be putting a stop to reported widespread flouting of the law by unscrupulous gun dealers encouraged by politically-motivated law enforcement. With this ruling, sheriffs who think they can cherry-pick the laws they choose to enforce and politicians who encourage the public to become lawbreakers should be on notice.
If there are loopholes in the law, close them. And when people break the law, lock them up.