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.

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79 Responses to Colorado Sheriffs’ Lawsuit Forces Changes to Gun Control Laws

      • 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.”

        • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

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

        • 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.

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

      • 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

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

        • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

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

        • 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!

    • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

  2. 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!

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

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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…

    • 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?

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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?

      • 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…

        • 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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.

  10. 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.

    • 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.

  11. “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?

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

      • 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…”

  12. 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.

    • 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. “…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.

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

      But they sure talk purty.

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

  16. 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.

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

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