PM UPDATE: Gov. John Hickenlooper issues a signing statement on House Bill 1224, the magazine limit bill, intended to clear up misinformation about its effects from the long debate. Key excerpt:
In signing HB13-1224, we acknowledge that some have expressed concerns about the vagueness of the law’s definition of “large-capacity magazine.” By its terms, the law does make illegal any magazine manufactured or purchased after July 1, 2013, that is capable of accepting, or is designed to be readily converted to accept, more that 15 rounds of ammunition. Similar language is used in other states’ statutes limiting large-capacity magazines. We know that magazine manufacturers have produced and sell magazines that comply with these other state laws that limit large-capacity magazines and we are aware of no successful legal challenges to those laws. [Pols emphasis] And when a Colorado-based magazine manufacturer came to us to share their concerns about the vagueness of the definition of “large-capacity magazine” contained in the original version of the bill, we worked with the bill’s sponsors to fine-tune the definition to make it more precise.
We also have heard concerns about the requirement in the law that a person who owns a large-capacity magazine prior to the law’s enactment may legally possess that magazine only as long as he or she “maintains continuous possession” of it. We do not believe a reasonable interpretation of the law means that a person must maintain continuous “physical” possession of these items. Responsible maintenance and handling of magazines obviously contemplates that gun owners may allow others to physically hold and handle them under appropriate circumstances. We are confident that law enforcement and the courts will interpret the statute so as to effectuate the lawful use and care of these devices.
In considering the language of HB13-1224, we have consulted with the Office of the Attorney General and we concur with its advice that the large-capacity magazine ban should be construed narrowly to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Second Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. We have signed HB13-1224 into law based on the understanding that it will be interpreted and applied narrowly and consistently with these important constitutional provisions.
UPDATE: FOX 31's Eli Stokols:
During a press conference that followed the bill signing, Hickenlooper said that his office has also drafted a signing statement to clarify how the magazine ban should be interpreted.
“I was ambivalent on this to a degree,” Hickenlooper said, noting the inconvenience for law-abiding gun owners. “But in the end, these high-capacity magazines turn killers into killing machines. I think the potential for damage seems to outweigh the inconvenience.”
…“Lawmakers looked at several bills, and some of them didn’t stand up to the rigorous discussion,” Hickenlooper said, noting that legislation that sought to ban concealed weapons on college campuses was killed.
UPDATE #2: NBC News with GOP reaction:
“We’re all in shock here,” state Senator Greg Brophy, a Republican, said on Wednesday. “It turns out this guy who everybody thought was a moderate Democrat is actually a gun-control governor.”
“I think the governor will be replaced by someone who has Colorado values instead of New York City values,” Brophy said. “If Republicans are returned to control we will repeal these bills immediately.”
Photo via AP's Ivan Moreno
Updates coming; press conference scheduled for 10:30AM.