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July 10, 2013 12:11 PM UTC

Major Victory For Gun Magazine Limit Law (And Common Sense)

  • 8 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #2: The Durango Herald's Joe Hanel reports:

They were headed for a showdown in what was supposed to be a six-hour hearing today in Krieger’s courtroom. But at 9:30 Tuesday night, the plaintiffs and lawyers from the attorney general’s office – which is defending Hickenlooper – submitted a compromise to the court. Essentially, the compromise sought to take Suthers’ memo on how the law should be enforced, make a few minor changes, and ask the judge to enforce it as a restraining order against the law. [Pols emphasis]

…Hickenlooper’s lead lawyer, Solicitor General Dan Domenico, said in general he was pleased by how things went this week.

“As far as we’re concerned, the baseplate issue should be off the table, and we can be talking now about whether the high-capacity magazine ban violates the Second Amendment,” Domenico said.

—–

UPDATE: As we were writing, this statement went out from Tom Mauser of Colorado Ceasefire, the father of a victim of the Columbine High School shootings, on today's agreement:

The agreement to allow the high capacity magazine law to move forward is a great step towards making Colorado safer. Over the months and years ahead, these high-capacity magazines, whose only purpose is to kill large numbers of people in seconds, will be gradually removed from our streets and neighborhoods. This is a simple and straightforward law, and today we have the acknowledgement that it is an enforceable law. [Pols emphasis]

—–

9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman reports on a late-developing story, clarifying the enforcement of Colorado's new gun magazine limit law–and as we've been predicting for months, formalizing the general terms of the Attorney General's technical guidance memo. Still apparently subject to some journalist confusion, this is a major victory for proponents of House Bill 13-1224, and means there will be no temporary injunction blocking enforcement:

The agreement, which will be spelled out in a memo from the state Attorney General, will say that magazines do not violate the ban simply because they have removable base plates.

The language of the law states that magazines are illegal if they are "designed to be readily converted to accept" more than 15 rounds of ammunition. Most magazines have removable base plates to allow them to be cleaned and maintained, but extenders can be added to the bottom of many models to increase their capacity. 

The two sides agreed on a separate issue over a requirement that owners of "grandfathered" magazines must maintain continuous possession of the magazines in order to keep them legal. The two sides said that simply lending a magazine or handing it over to a gun shop to be maintained, does not violate this portion of the law. In order to break continuous possession, the owner would have to willingly give up ownership of the magazine. 

Again, these are the same essential terms that proponents of House Bill 1224 have sought all along, and the original technical guidance issued by Republican Attorney General John Suthers in May represents the limit of enforcement desired by anyone. The wildly speculative interpretations of the new law offered by opponents, who claimed the law would "ban all magazines" among other unintended outcomes, were always specious at best. Local Colorado media has been extremely slow to grasp this, however–again, 9NEWS' Rittiman:

The state agreed to limit how it will enforce that law, [Pols emphasis] amid concerns over vague language in the bill passed by legislators earlier this year.

That's wrong, Brandon. All the state "agreed to limit" is the pearl clutching encouraged by folks like Dave Kopel, the lead attorney in the lawsuit against the state who bizarrely gets credibility as an "impartial expert" on firearms law. Kopel's ability to, and there's no nice way to say this, bamboozle reporters into reprinting unfounded speculation is one of the biggest reasons for public apprehension about the magazine limit law. All the state is "agreeing" to do here is to enforce the common-sense interpretation proponents always sought–nothing more.

If we have to, we'll keep pointing this out every time, until even the most thickheaded reporter in Colorado realizes Kopel and friends have been using them to spread falsehoods–and incite misguided public anger over this new law.

And we sincerely hope they get to work explaining how no, the sky isn't falling after all.

Comments

8 thoughts on “Major Victory For Gun Magazine Limit Law (And Common Sense)

  1. Soooo …

    … you're saying my National Geographic subscription is actually safe (despite all the ranting from the Independence Institute ilk)???????

    1. Just because we can't see him doesn't mean he doesn't exist.  From what I understand there are like 11 dimensions and parallel quantum realities. 

  2. Congratulations Pols, you were right about this one small technicality. Now the case will go to trial on Second Amendment grounds, which is the more important matter by far.

    You may not have many more "victories" so enjoy this tiny one.

  3. John Caldera is declaring victory.

    "Today the Independence Institute's federal civil rights lawsuit achieved its first major success, eliminating the problems that were caused by two vague phrases in House Bill 1224, the magazine ban."

    All in an email that I received.

    "With these two issues now resolved, we are beginning preparation for a full trial on the merits. The trial will be our challenge to the entirety of the unconstitutional anti-gun laws:"

     

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