Colorado Sheriffs’ Lawsuit Forces Changes to Gun Control Laws

There are plenty of problems with the magazine ban enacted by the Colorado legislature, so much so that two of the Democrats who spearheaded the effort are now facing recall elections. But two of the worst provisions have now been de-fanged thanks to a lawsuit (Cooke et al. v. Hickenlooper) brought by 55 elected sheriffs against Governor Hickenlooper . . .

The two provisions in question go a long way toward illustrating how little that people who write gun control laws know about how guns actually work.

The first was a provision that any magazine that can be “readily converted” to a “high capacity” magazine is banned from sale, which would have banned every magazine with a removable baseplate. On April 4th, Governor Hickenlooper had this to say about that aspect of the new law:

Well there are certain magazines that are actually…uh…designed and have uh…uh…specific holes and attachments to be…to be extended and those specific magazines…uh…where there’s…uh…a…certain level of design specifically just for extension rather than just cleaning. Uh…but that’s not very many of them.

Compelling, no?

The second provision mandates that magazines have to be in “continuous possession” of the owner since before the ban was enacted or they are illegal. This would, of course, make range trips with friends very illegal difficult and prevent gun owners from having their magazines repaired by gunsmiths.

From TVC, it now seems that the Governor’s office has issued “technical guidance” on these issues and basically made these parts of the new law irrelevant. “Readily converted” now only applies to the imaginary magazines that the governor, er described and doesn’t apply to magazines with baseplates. According to the clarification, unless mags have been actually altered to have an extended magazine, they don’t count. As for the “continuous possession” clause, that’s now been defined as ownership (well, “dominion” in lawyer speak). So even if you lend a magazine to someone for a couple of hours — or a couple of years — as long as they have to give it back at some point, you’re both golden.

The plaintiffs in the case had requested an emergency injunction against these two provisions, but since they no longer have any specific impact they’ve dropped their request. The bulk of the case, the part arguing that the law as a whole violates the second amendment, carries on.

comments

  1. avatar Chas says:

    How do these idiots get elected in the first place?

    1. avatar Cold Frog says:

      They are elected by idiots.

      1. avatar Cold Frog says:

        Democratic congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia is taking a ribbing as a video makes the rounds showing his unusual concern about Guam. During questioning of a US admiral about plans to station 5,000 more Marines on the island, Johnson says he’s worried that it “might tip over and capsize.” Replies the admiral: “We don’t anticipate that.”

        1. avatar SGC says:

          Dude, that video is two years old at least! But, alas…he is STILL in Congress. His district is DeKalb County though..so go figure.

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        By California idiots to who moved to Colorado and decided it had to be turned into California.

        Like the girlfriend who says, “you’re perfect just the way you are”. Until she’s married to you.

        1. avatar Cold Frog says:

          I know that the video is two years old, but I still am amazed that someone could be so …what is the correct word…idiotic, stupid and get elected. I have to laugh at the whole affair.

    2. avatar Tex says:

      Idiots vote for them.

      1. avatar Frank says:

        People give birth to idiots

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          Then those idiots vote.

        2. avatar Tom RKBA says:

          I disagree. Idiots are made by schoolsystems that are more concerned with turning out “proper” voters rather than educated people.

        3. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          Parents have a responsibility to educate their children and correct the errors of the school system. That this does not happen very often does not surprise me or remove the responsibility.

        4. avatar Howdy says:

          It’s indoctrination. Colorado is giving illegal’s drivers licenses. I think you can see the disconnect.

      2. avatar k4R-15 says:

        Watch the film Idiocracy– sadly the depiction of society in the film is pretty much how these numbskulls got elected and got their questionable legislation passed.

        OTOH doesn’t it make you feel good to know that they ‘did something’ ? Nope, me either

    3. avatar J.R. says:

      Exactly it’s because voting don’t mean much anymore when you have uninformed, uneducated crazies out there voting for liers and crooks.

      1. avatar Jim R says:

        It also helps to know people in the right places that count the votes.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          That make the voting machines that flip the votes.
          There is MUCH more abuse and crookedness with electronic voting, which is why is was pushed so hard and rushed into being.

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        They are voting how they feel and believe everything they see and hear. They are very low information voters – but not only that – they are low information people. They don’t know very much.

    4. avatar Scott says:

      By their constituents.

    5. avatar Derrick says:

      Uh, politics, and uh money, and uh sucky sucky five dollar. Uh

    6. avatar Adam says:

      Don’t blame me. They were already in office when I got here.

    7. avatar WLCE says:

      when you have a shit society, you elect shit to represent you.

      Need I say more?

      Do you know a moron that is head shaking-level in their stupidity? I mean really stupid? stupid drivers, stupid employees, generally very stupid people? Those that do not know who their representatives are, those that cannot name the president, those that know nothing about the Constitution that protects them? well they can vote too. Think about that.

      1. avatar SgtR says:

        “Think of how dumb the average person is, and realize half of them are dumber than that.” -George Carlin

        1. avatar WLCE says:

          My rant was in spirit of that exact quote that Carlin said. 😀

          also…the rant about Americans eating anything, including fried raccoon assholes was priceless too!

    8. avatar Taylor Tx says:

      They dont always run on Civilian Disarmament, a few of the new libz in office in CO rode in on the legalization wagon. Which disappoints me so much, because for whatever reason, the two always get lumped together in the worst ways.

    9. avatar jerry says:

      Frog and Tex beat me to the draw.

    10. avatar rosignol says:

      Electing idiots is just a symptom, the problem is that Californians have achieved critical mass in Colorado.

    11. avatar Pat says:

      Never EVER vote libtard (democrat) AGAIN.
      That way, you wont see anti-gun laws.
      Real simple.

  2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    they promise ponies, puppies, unicorns, candy, happiness, peace, love, unfunded benefits, and the like. . . . . too all the idiots

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Led to believe (but never actually TOLD) that a vote for Obama would mean a free house, free car, free gasoline. And all they got was a goddamn OBAMAPHONE!

      Or, in some cases, thirty of them.

  3. avatar safety first! says:

    I am glad they cleared that up. So I can have a 5 round magazine, with a 10 round extension, totally legal. I can have a 10 round magazine with a 5 round extension, still legit. Just don’t mix and match and we are good. Clear as mud, thanks. That ought to stop a spree killer – think of the consequences!

  4. avatar thatoneguy says:

    He should just plop Bloomberg’s balls back in his mouth and quit talking.

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      Someone get me some bleach, please hurry!

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        That’s the sort of Squick you can only kill with FIRE.

        KILL IT WITH FIRE!

        1. avatar Bobtrumpet says:

          “Squick” – that’s a new on one me; never heard it before.

  5. avatar swampsniper says:

    Diana DeGette may actually be one of their most intelligent associates.

    1. avatar WA_2A says:

      Intelligence is a relative term with these people

  6. avatar In Memphis says:

    Was that uh, an actual, uh direct, direct quote? Did he uh, really say it uh, word for word like that?

  7. avatar Cold Frog says:

    I actually liked Hickenlooper until he let his inner idiot out..and he is considered a rising star for the Democrats.

    1. avatar Jim Scrummy says:

      Never trust a dhimmi or a rino. They sell you out everytime. Everytime.

    2. avatar Roscoe says:

      With a name like Hickenlooper he should fit right in to the Democrat’s play list; kinda like “Weiner”.

      We already know he’s a hoar (sic) to moneyed progressive statists.

  8. avatar Carry Alerts says:

    Out of curiosity, how do they know who originally owns a magazine?

    1. avatar thatoneguy says:

      They don’t.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      The guy that produces the original date bill of sale. You say you don’t keep reciepts for everything you purchased in the last ____ years? Too bad minon its illegal and all belonga us now.

      1. avatar BLAMMO says:

        The same way they know how long an illegal alien has been in the country.

      2. avatar Zebulon Pike says:

        Actually, the law says that the prosecutor has the burden of proof to show you have a magazine purchased after 7/1/13. Maybe if they had witnesses who saw you buy it or surveillance videos or a sting operation…

    3. avatar pwrserge says:

      Given that USGI magazines have no serial numbers or date stamps on them… I think I see an unenforceable law. Anybody else want to set up a gun shop right across the border from CO?

  9. avatar DisThunder says:

    Hey, it’s a start!

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      there is still a chance for a state if the leos are fighting for the rights of us peasants.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        Ha! Now that’s a fantasy.

  10. avatar Shire-man says:

    I know nothing about something I feel very strongly about!!!

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      Bravo!

      Except for the power grab, that very succinctly sums up the entire grabber movement!

  11. avatar Nazgul says:

    The people that sponsored the bills may not know about firearms; however, the people that wrote them knew what they were doing. The purpose was to make firearms ownership inconvenient, and criminalize the possession of magazines. The prohibition on the transfer of magazine ownership is still in place, which is awful. By the way, not all of us in Colorado voted for the progressives – we were colonized by them.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      That’s the purpose of all these bills particularly on the local and state scene; make it progressively, incrementally more onerous and expensive to become a firearm owner; then with an ever expanding maze of related laws that if violated exposes one to the risk of judicial sanctions, slowly start confiscating.

  12. avatar Stinkeye says:

    So, they “fixed” it by issuing “Technical Guidance”. My question is: does that actually have the force of law, or is it just a “gentlemen’s agreement” where the AG says that’s how he’ll interpret the law? I mean, the original wording of the law is unchanged, so what’s to stop the next group of idiots administration from enforcing it as written?

  13. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

    So what about US Palm mags? They don’t have a base plate!

  14. avatar jwm says:

    There are many more hoops to jump thru to own a gun than there are for voting. For some people simply making it to a voting booth is the most difficult achievement of their lives. Some wouldn’t be able to pull it off if others didn’t pick them up by the busloads and bring them to the polling place and then instruct them how to vote.

    For these people the simple act of filling out a 4473 would pose insurmountable difficulties. Gun ownership should be required as a sign that a person has at least a minimal intelligence level enough to vote. And a national ccw would serve as voter ID to protect the system from illegal voting.

  15. avatar Zebulon Pike says:

    Wrong headline! They did not “change” the law at all. This is just the Republican AG issuing “technical guidance” on how the law should be enforced. It is not binding, and the law still says what it says. An overzealous sheriff or DA in the liberal havens of Boulder, Denver, or Pitkin counties could still very much use this law to persecute an otherwise law-abiding citizen because they don’t have to obey the AG for a second. If you wander into one of these counties with a “readily convertible” mag or you hand the mag to your buddy at the range (or technically, leave the mag at home while you travel somewhere and thus not “continually possess” it), you should watch out.

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      I don’t know how much force a ‘technical guidance’ document has, but the law often does not mean what it says it means. Case law has a huge bearing on how law is enforced, without changing the text of the law it affects. I think it would be better if a court opinion that the law cannot be properly enforced as written was a trigger for the law to be sent back to the appropriate legislature for amendment, but what do I know?

      Seriously, what law actually has the text of the Miranda warnings in it? Does that mean they don’t matter?

      1. avatar Zebulon Pike says:

        Do you want to be the volunteer who is prosecuted under this law in order to see if a court will set a precedent your way–maybe? You cannot rely on this technical guidance to save you from prosecution in a district that elected a liberal DA and has a liberal bench/jury pool. DAs do NOT report to the AG here in Colo–they are elected. Roll the dice if you want…

        1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          If this does not have the force of written law or case law, then I agree with you. My point was that the written law is not always the end of the story, and wondering where in the spectrum this story falls. I don’t live in CO, and am not very familiar with their state laws.

  16. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    That lawsuit and the result is nice.

    It would be much nicer if all of the elected Sheriffs, who swore oaths to uphold the Colorado and United States Constitutions, would sue the state over the law that violates those constitutions.

    1. avatar Zebulon Pike says:

      They are suing the state. This “technical guidance” simply removed the request for an emergency injunction. That’s all. The lawsuit is still on by the Sheriff’s–except for handful of them from liberal counties.

  17. avatar KCK says:

    I thought courts decide what a law means by way of legal challenges not governors saying “I know it is against the law as written but my guidance is that you can run red lights on Tuesday afternoons”. What???
    Legislature passes/rescinds
    Courts upholds or nullifies the constitutionally
    Executive Governor signs/vetos Enforces
    Where does it say the Governor get to change the law once in effect?
    The suit should be in regards to what the law says and proceed, not what the Governor says because a new gov can change his mind.

    1. avatar Zebulon Pike says:

      The law hasn’t changed. All that has happened is the state AG has issued “technical guidance” with his opinion on how a prosecutor should decide to bring charges. It is non-binding and will be respected only by those law enforcement personnel who agree with it.

  18. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    “Readily converted” has always been a hoot to me. “Readily” by whom? The morons who wrote this law, or a gunsmith like me, with metalworking tools and a TIG welder?

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      Good point, how many people can change their own oil on a car today, much less do the most rudimentary of metalworking?

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        I don’t know, but when I’ve asked CO LEO’s the question, they say “well, you know, ‘readily converted…’ ”

        Then I point out that I’m a gunsmith and I can “readily convert” lots of common items into forbidden things. “How about now?”

        Eye rolls, shrugs, a whole lot of “don’t ask us, we’re not the morons who wrote this law…”

  19. avatar Renegade Dave says:

    Did this have any bearing on capacity limits they had (15 round max) since I believe the language was tied up in that clause as well.

    1. avatar Zebulon Pike says:

      No. The technical guidance was only around “continuous possession” and “readily converted.” We are still stuck with 15 rounds on any magazine we acquire starting July 1, 2013. Fixed tubular magazines on .22 rimfire or lever-action rifle are exempt. Shotguns can only accept 28″ of shells.

  20. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    According to the clarification, unless mags have been actually altered to have an extended magazine, they don’t count.

    So, now it’s only illegal to perform a victimless act rather than being illegal to possess an item that partially enables one to commit a victimless act. Progress?

  21. avatar jimmyjames says:

    Back to how do idiots get elected. Idiot voters believe what the idiot politicians promise them: free cell phones, free groceries, free health care, lower taxes, etc. And the other party’s idiots run a billionaire with a car elevator against that idiot.

  22. avatar J in Ga says:

    For rent: one PMAG, $30 per 100 years

  23. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    “…how little that people who write gun control laws know about how guns actually work.”

    I hate to break it to you, but they’re just as knowledgeable about all other things they pass laws for.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The same goes for journalists. They’re universally ignorant about everything.

      But they sure talk purty.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Journalist degrees were invented so people flunking out of the business program could salvage a degree.

  24. avatar Kyle says:

    Well here in New York state when they realized that there aren’t very many seven round magazines, they changed it to where people can still buy ten round magazines, but only load them with seven rounds. I am sure all criminals will dutifully abide by this.

    I am nervous about any lawsuit alleging that a fifteen round magazine limitation infringes on the Second Amendment, as I could very easily see a court ruling that it does not.

  25. avatar Pat says:

    Simply disregard mag laws (especially when at home).
    Better judged by twelve than carried by six.
    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  26. avatar Mike says:

    Who you calling an idiot…oh you who voted the dem clowns in!!!

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