Colorado May Have Its First Large-Capacity-Magazine Criminal Charge

U.S. Law Shield

When Colorado’s Larimer County district attorney filed a charge for possessing high-capacity magazines against 29-year-old David Moscow on October 26, 2015, it may have been the first such use of the law since its adoption more than two years ago.

A search by U.S. Law Shield did not turn up another case in which the controversial law banning magazines with more than a 15-round capacity has been administered previously. A Larimer County government website lists Cliff Riedel as the jurisdiction’s DA.U.S. Law Shield Prosecutors have charged Moscow for possessing the high-capacity magazines under Colorado Revised Statute 18-12-302, which reads in part, “a person who sells, transfers or possesses a large-capacity magazine that is designed to accept or can be converted to hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition commits a Class 2 misdemeanor, the exception being if the individual owned the magazine prior to July 1, 2013.” Facts of the case: Moscow had been seeking readmission to the Front Range Community College in Fort Collins and was upset that he was probably going to be denied. He became disgruntled and a psychologist reported him to police, saying he was making threats about shooting a security guard and burning down a building at the community college if administrators didn’t re-enroll him. He was subsequently arrested.

While he was on a 72-hour hold for mental evaluation, investigators searched his home and vehicle and found an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a Glock .40-caliber handgun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. In addition, they found multiple large-capacity magazines for both firearms.

Moscow is a convicted felon, so it is illegal for him to possess firearms.

Click here to read more about the legal aspects of the case at U.S. Law Shield.

Click here to read the full story in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper.

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Comments (39)

  1. Bill Von Ord, it’s called ex post facto. ex post facto. adj. Latin for “after the fact,” which refers to laws adopted after an act is committed making it illegal …

  2. Interesting the title of the piece refers to this individual being in unlawful possession of a hi-cap mag, a misdemeanor. But that is NOT the real story, is it. The real story is that he is a felon in possession of firearms which he obtained illegally. Yes he also made some threats against others to his shrink, which ultimately led police to his arms “cache”. The verbal threats will be reduced to simple misdemeanor. The hi-cap mag beef is inconsequential and will be dropped, and considered “piling on” with of the other charges. There it is the entire story in a short paragraph. Still an interesting story of why he had to resort to crime to make a living, he is an indiot.

  3. Dumb, he deserves to be locked down. We’ve got enough problems with nutcases that want to commit mass murders. Besides, if you have hi-cap mags in Colorado you better have a really good hidey-hole for them.

  4. Everyone. You do know there is a law, subsection or something in the constitution that says, no law can be passed that turns innocent citizens into criminals. Passing this high capacity magazine law turns ordinary law abiding citizens into criminals! This law they passed becomes null and void. I know I have read it before but where, I can not remember at this time. Maybe somebody else can find it.

  5. Cop killers or those who use a firearm in the commission of a crime should receive NO CONSIDERATION for amnesty, parole, probation or pardon…period…exclamation point!!! Felons in possession of an illegal instrument should egt the MAXIMUM SENTENCING allowable by law…period…exclamation point.

  6. Moscow is a convicted felon, so it is illegal for him to possess firearms.-that says it all…throw the book at him…no early release…
    find out who sold him the guns…research that aspect as well
    there were ALREADY laws on the books for this …

  7. First how old were the magazines in his possession? Second why bother with a misdemeanor when this guy is a convicted felon? Overzealous prosecutor maybe?

  8. HUMMMMMM………… A double edged sword here…Lets approach this with caution. The Attorney is using the high cap excuse to get a felon ? really ? I’m against felon with a gun’s & that is what he should charged with along with terroristic threats. … BUT, any honest good citizens out there with high cap mags in their possession are now going to be considered felons ?
    Anything, will fuel Liberal Socialist leaders for gun control. This Jerk off DA is setting a pattern. How long will it be till they kick in the doors of any known law abiding gun owner just to see if they have large cap mags ? Then your an instant Felon. How nice.

    1. @Gunflint

      That’s not what the article says. It says he was making threats and acting violent enough that a psychologist was concerned enough to contact police (which, by the way is the law in most states. The police probably ran the guy’s name and when he came back as a felon with a report of him making violent threats from a psychologist and took him into custody. Searching his home is a routine next step, and when they found he was a felon in possession of an AR and a Glock, they arrested him.

      It is a matter of standard procedure when charging someone in a situation like this, to charge them with everything possible in order to be in a better position for prosecution to encourage a plea bargain. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also charged with violations like disorderly conduct, creating a public nuisance and making a terrorist threat. I’m sure if they could have added traffic violations to it they would have done that as well. It’s all about building a case that’s so strong the perp’s attorney will recommend he plead to some for a deal to get others dismissed.

      While I do agree with you the Liberal Socialists are out to get us, in this case this idiot created his own problems. Period.

  9. I suspect that since he is a felon who broke the law by possessing firearms and was threatening to hurt people, they will try to find as many charges to pin on him as possible. He makes honest firearms owners look bad. He needs to invest in soap on a rope now…

  10. a felon with a weapon or hi cap. mag . throw his ass in prison ! felons should have no rights because when you force your will on law abiding people you pay . this is what fuels democrats and liberals for gun control . the constitution was the idea of law abiding men . i feel for all the hard working police in the U.S. half the nation looks at them as the enemy . im sick of these felons doing 10-15yrs in prison only to get out and do it again . what happened to the days where you kill a cop you get the death penalty . to all police , ” i’ve got your back ” thank you !

    1. “felons should have no rights… ”

      This is utter Bull$h!t!

      Just remember just about EVERY law nowadays if broken makes you a FELON. The government passes about 40,000 laws each year. You would be shocked to know everyone in the U.S. probably breaks at least ONE of these laws each year – including yourself. So, this means YOU are a FELON. Now do you think you don’t deserve your rights?????

    2. @techiepatriot

      You do recall this guy was armed angry and threatening to shoot the security guard and burn the place down, right? He was knowingly violating the law as a felon and threatening to commit more crimes, and not just minor crimes but assault with a deadly weapon and arson of a facility that would very likely have been occupied at the time. Those sound fairly serious to me.

      Are you seriously going to argue that this guy should have had a legal right to own guns and make threats when compared to someone who was not knowingly breaking the law, threatening to kill people, and burn down a college? Yes, there are people who are convicted unjustly but the vast felons who make violent threats should not be given legal access to guns so they can commit more felonies. Period.

    3. “a legal right to own guns and make threats”

      Except in clear and obvious jest, nobody has the legal right to make those threats. Period. And even in jest you would be walking on thin ice.

      There is, however, extremely thin Constitutional support for stripping felons (where does it stop?) of their enumerated rights. Go ahead, prove me wrong. FROM THE CONSTITUTION.

      You “win” that point. But you lose the next one: “when compared to someone who was not knowingly breaking the law, threatening to kill people, and burn down a college?”

      Crimes always stand alone. So do rights. Read the Second Amendment … where in it do you find a limitation? Where in it do you find anything hinting that one man might have a right that another lacked? Search all you want … I’ll wait.

      Where in it do you find that one section of the Constitution can take away an enumerated right noted in any other section?

      You won’t … but you’ll find clauses sprinkled here and there specifically forbidding that.

      Soldiers, alone, are issued firearms for the purpose of aggression (although the principles of “just war” do not allow for aggression on the part of nation states … so not even a soldier can ever morally fire their weapons except in retaliation for a prior attack). Police are issued firearms solely to protect themselves and others. Given the trends of police firearm usage over the past 50 years or so, that license is in serious need of review. Ordinary citizens not sworn to any oath to serve the common weal may only use a firearm to secure game or safety.

      Note that I use the phrase “to secure safety” in its broad understanding and not the narrow one applying only to immediate peril of oneself.

      You might be surprised to learn how many are convicted unjustly … an afternoon or two spent in court should be enough to convince you that, were YOU the one standing in chains and an orange jumpsuit, your odds of receiving anything remotely approaching justice would be slim indeed.

      The additional disqualifier of the “no fly list” effectively guarantees that you will end up dis-armed the moment you name comes to public attention … such as “looking funny” when you renew your license at the DMV. Or not renewing your drivers license at all. Either way could be enough to result in the loss of your Second Amendment rights without any hope of recovering them.

      Get off your high horse and think this matter through … it’s a lot more complicated than it would first appear.

    4. Perhaps YOU should read the laws and realize exactly how little it takes to become a felon … violence is entirely optional.

      Think about that … Patriot made the case that almost every one of us will, unless we live on Sunnybrook Farm, in the matter of a year or two break some law or other that could result in loss of our Second Amendment rights.

      I, personally, know a guy who lost his because he answered his phone when his former girlfriend called. She had obtained (under false pretenses) a restraining order which prohibited him from having contact with her. How do I know this? … He and I were standing around in my front yard talking when the phone call came. She (who was terrified for her safety, oh my!!!) was calling to make sure he had eaten a good dinner.

      The Judge ruled that he had violated the restraining order and took his 2A rights away.

      If anyone ever makes a similar allegation against you and obtains a restraining order you are a single phone call away from prison and loss of your Second Amendment rights for an indefinite … but assuredly long … time.

      You guys win the “hard-ass” contest. Don’t even enter the “deep-thinkers” bathroom.

    5. What’s more, the government is limited to only enumerated powers, and there is nowhere in the Constitution that says that the government can take away rights from someone.

      They only get away with it because there are very few people who will attend up for the rights of perceived “bad guys”.

      But, if they can take rights away from felons, what is stopping them from taking them away from you?

    6. Correct … can anyone say “no fly list”?

      Folks are treating this the same way the Germans did the gradual interments of their citizens. Gypsies, Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews … and so on … until finally, ordinary Germans stood in terror of being swept up in the dragnets.

  11. My sister wanted me to move to Colorado and I told her no way. I’ll be damned if I want to cash in my rights to live in that state. I’m glad Magpul got out of there, too. I wonder how much money the state has lost in revenue because of their anti-gun laws. Oh, that’s right they are more than making up for it with their legal pot.

  12. As was mentioned in this blog, the capacity limit on magazines didn’t limit the number of magazines a person could own. Any combat vet can change out a magazine in about 5 seconds, so magazine capacity would be a moot point. On the other hand, this individual, already being a convicted felon and psycho to begin with had no business possessing either magazines, ammo or firearms. Thus, proving the point; restrictive gun laws only affect law abiding citizens, not criminals, psychos, or terrorist, who do not obey laws. ” If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge or jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim.” [Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC, deceased]

    1. Dark Angel, first I agree that unless you limit the magazine size to something completely unreasonable, like 3 rounds per mag, it really doesn’t affect ones ability to do a mass shooting. It only takes one to 5 seconds to reload, based on if you have practiced reloading or not. But I completely disagree with your second point. Anyone, can get a felony for just about anything, if the prosecutor is willing to stretch the law and the truth, as well as, through plea bargaining, that avoids jail time, but still shows a conviction. The second amendment protects your god given right to protect yourself, your family, and your property with what ever means necessary to ensure your survival. So ether you are a free man and can protect yourself, or you are not a free man and you are a slave, or a prisoner. If a person is to dangerous to own a gun, they are to dangerous to be a free man and should be in prison or should be exiled. There is no room for anything in between. The part about him making threatening statements, may or may not be true. But who hasn’t gotten so pissed off that you said crap that could be taken literally, even if you were not going to act on it. Maybe he should be talked to, maybe he needs to be evaluated, maybe he should get some counseling, and maybe he needs to be locked up. But that should be by a jury of his peers. Not by some over zealous prosecutor that is trying to make a name for himself. See what most of us forget, is that if there is no victim, there is no crime, and while you can’t yell fire in a theater, that is only because people will get hurt.

  13. Can anyone explain to me how this law (15 rounds max per mag?) actually can possibly prevent anything without limiting the number of magazines a person may possess.?… I mean seriously, 2 magazines 15 rounds each held together with a clamp or taped together will still accomplish the same thing. I am a fairly competent combat Marine and although I have never timed myself am quite confident that I can empty one, switch to the other, empty that one, clear and insert another set of magazines and be ready to rock all over again a hell of a lot quicker than I can either write about it or you can read this sentence… Apparently there was a failure in the already existing law prohibiting a convicted felon from owning a firearm and once the douche bag had committed another felony by possessing the gun what does he care about any other laws he’s breaking in the process…. These laws are not put in force to keep criminals from committing crimes, they are intended to make criminals of otherwise law abiding individuals which then allows them to strip more rights from those whom would not, under any other circumstances ever consider breaking the law….

    1. Agree with you 100% about switching mags.

      I started shooting USPSA with an OTS Glock in the class that required me to use only 10 round mags. I could burn through 4 to 6 (depending on the particular engagement set I was shooting) in a matter of seconds.

  14. Somehow the ant-gunners will try to use this as an example of how their bitchin’ law saved lives. Never mind the laws he was already breaking were not saving anyone any trouble. The fact that the fellow is so flaky that he made terrorist threats is what possibly saved lives.

  15. Well, the Colorado’s ban of “high-capacity” magazines is, no doubts, anti-Constitutional and anti-Second Amendment. However, IF Moscow (rather a funny last name, isn’t it?) did what they say he did, and IF he really is a convicted felon, they did a right thing. One gun-possessing sicko less to worry about…

    1. I don’t know that the ban on magazines with a certain capacity is actually unconstitutional. I mean, the Second Amendment prohibits the government from telling you whether or not you can own a gun but it does not necessarily keep them from defining certain aspects of gun ownership, such as full automatic rifles, silencers, short barrel rifles and shotguns etc. and it doesn’t specify how many rounds a weapon may be capable of carrying.

      When the Second Amendment was written they were still pouring powder down the barrels and stuffing the round in with a stick and 100-round detachable magazines were pretty much not even considered to be in the realm of possibility. Anyway, (and trust me I am absolutely against any government interference with my self-determined position on the number, types, ammo capability and amount of ammo I possess) I believe the government could quite legally place restrictions on if not ban ownership of weapons with detachable magazines without purchasing a BATF stamp and properly registering that type of gun just like the full auto and silencers.

      I would be the first to oppose, resist and or refuse to comply, but I do honestly believe they could regulate us to internal mags of say 5- or 10-round capacity which in all honesty could also backfire on them as I have a modernized Mosin Nagant that is my go to piece for the really long shots and even though it is bolt action with prepared stripper clips I can pretty much keep up with the average guy on an AR-15 with a hand full of regular mags… Just to be clear Victor this is not directed at you nor is it a rebuke of your ideology it simply seems like the place to put it to continue this particular train of thought, so please take it for what it is (merely taking the other side of the debate, playing devils advocate or whatever) and consider the possibility, because unless we can do something to strengthen the existing laws we could lose something that we have taken for granted as a right for a long time. “MOLON LABE” is not just a phrase to me.

    2. Wrong! The second amendment explicitly states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The founding fathers, and any rational person, would agree that this amendment means any encroachment on the right to keep and bear arms (i.e. prohibiting specifics items or limiting capacities of magazines) is an overreach of the government and is strictly prohibited by 2nd of 10 original amendments that empower the people over the government. It was clear that the founding father’s intent was that all Americans should be able to possess any weapon of war, with the primary purpose of keeping the government out of their collective business if it ever came down to that. Until that amendment is repealed, this law, and many other gun laws are illegal.

  16. Notice that the comments were directed more at the mag capacity than the fact that he was a convicted felon in the first place.. I guess rhetoric BS is the same all over.

    1. Come on, they got around to talking about his felony record in the last couple of sentences, they could have left it out all together…

    2. Mr. King: When I made the comment, I had not previously read the [Comments] list and submitted it straight from the e-mail notification. Otherwise, I would have seen my views on the subject had basically been already aired, and obviously, I would not have commented. Apparently. I’m not as astute an individual as you.

    3. @Will

      I could be mistaken, but I think Stvenkng was being sarcastic and making fun of the article. I don’t think he was aiming it at you.

    4. Dude I was just making a lousy joke about the damn article, I apologize if I hurt your feelings and I promise to try to be more serious should I ever feel the need to reply to one of your comments in the future

  17. This is a little different than a simple case of someone who was an otherwise lawful gun owner being found with a normal capacity mag (I refuse to call them Hi Cap) at a traffic stop and being arrested on that charge alone. This guy had a lot of strikes against him, shouldn’t have even had the guns, and certainly has a screw loose when it comes to making threats like he apparently did.

    When I was a Probation Officer and we found a felon in violation or committing a crime, we charged him with every single violation of code or statute we could, knowing that it would read better on the charges and give us room to work on a plea bargain. that is obviously what this situation is.

    Having said all that, I think this law is a stupid travesty and shouldn’t even exist. This sets a dangerous precedent since the charge has now been used and could support charges against lawful gun owners as I mentioned reference the traffic stop scenario. Unfortunately, it is morons like this guy who set the stage for the Libs to attack our rights.

  18. How embarrassing for the lawmakers that instituted such a ban and the anti-gunners that supported it. Time and again we have tried to tell them how their ignorant laws will do nothing to stop criminals or the mentally ill. This guy was both a felon and a psych patient and yet he still violated the magazine ban. Imagine that. Even after this, I doubt these liberals will ever learn that gun laws only hurt law abiding citizens who don’t need to be regulated in the first place.

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