Fifty-five county sheriffs, the Colorado Outfitters Association, several firearms retailers, Magpul Industries, disabled individuals, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and other parties have brought a federal lawsuit to challenge to Colorado’s recently enacted gun-control laws.
The suit, brought in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, claims the new Colorado laws are Constitutional infringements and make unenforceable law-enforcement requirements regarding magazine capacity. Two laws that are set to take effect July 1 limit the size of the of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds and expand background checks to private and online firearm sales.
The participating Colorado sheriffs represent 55 of the state’s 64 counties. The sheriffs are hoping to have the new restrictions invalidated because they believe they violate the Second Amendment.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said “We each took an oath. The line in the sand has been drawn, and we will stand united,” at the Friday Denver press conference announcing the lawsuit.
“… As the sheriffs have pointed out, we believe it will be impossible for citizens to comply with mandated firearms ‘transfers’ through federally licensed retailers,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
Colorado’s federally-licensed firearms retailers are being asked to process private gun transfers as if the transactions were selling from their own inventory, and FFLs would be required to monitor both seller and buyer through a state-administered check process that can take hours or even days.
The firearms retailers bringing suit are: 2nd Amendment Gunsmith & Shooting Supply, Loveland; Goods for the Woods, Durango; Grand Prix Guns, Littleton; Green Mountain Guns, Lakewood; Jensen Arms, Loveland; Jerry’s Outdoor Sports, Grand Junction; Rocky Mountain Shooters Supply, Fort Collins; and Specialty Sports & Supply, Colorado Springs.
“They will not be able to recoup the actual cost of providing the service, which is capped at $10,” Keane said. “But they will be liable for paperwork errors and subject to license revocation. Not surprisingly, we expect few, if any licensed retailers will step forward to provide this service.” “For this reason and the many others detailed in our joint action with our fellow plaintiffs, these laws need to be struck down,” Keane said.
Don Shawcroft, representing the Colorado Farm Bureau, said, “Many family ag operations are incorporated, such as an LLC or partnership, and may also include non-family members as business partners. Requiring background checks for transfers between these partners creates an unfair burden to farmers and ranchers, as there are very few FFLs available to perform these background checks in rural areas.” State Sen. Mary Hodge (D-S.D. 25), sponsor of the limited ammunition bill, said, “We diligently crafted these public safety laws with respect given to the Second Amendment constitutional rights of every American. These laws were not constructed haphazardly; they were constructed to protect us from massacres like the ones we suffered in Aurora and Newtown. We worked with constitutional lawyers, and studied laws that we know worked in other states. We can’t just sit by and do nothing while first-graders and moviegoers are being mowed down in one fell swoop with weapons equipped with large-capacity magazines.”