“The Colorado Court of Appeals, in a unanimous opinion issued Thursday, upheld the state’s ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines of 15 rounds or more. The lawsuit dates back to the contentious 2013 legislative session in which Democrats, who controlled both the House and Senate, passed a trio of gun-control laws, including one that banned ownership of an ammunition magazine with 15 rounds or more.”
Why did the court rule as it did?
The appeals court concluded that the logic for passing a ban on large-capacity magazines was based on a “legitimate governmental interest in public health and safety.” In their opinion, the justices pointed out that there have been 27 mass shootings in Colorado that used large-capacity magazines between 1999 and 2016. That contrasts with 11 mass shootings involving large-capacity magazines in the period between 1967 and 1998, the opinion noted.
The plaintiffs — including the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners association, and a group of law enforcement orgs and county sheriffs — argued that the law should be subject to strict scrutiny and was unconstitutionally broad as it would ban most semi-automatic firearm magazines.
The appeals court disagreed with both assertions, stating even if they considered the statutory law “ambiguous, the legislative purpose is to reduce the number of people who are killed or shot in mass shootings, not to ban all gun magazines,” the opinion stated. Further, the statute does not prevent Coloradans from exercising their constitutional right of self-defense, the opinion indicated.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said it plans to take the case to the state supreme court.
Dudley Brown, executive director of RMGO, told Colorado Politics the group will appeal Thursday’s ruling, which he said was not unexpected. “From day one we knew this was a long haul through the courts, made more difficult by a Republican Attorney General who clearly wants to keep this magazine ban on Colorado’s books,” Brown said.
As you may remember, Magpul moved its operations out of the state as a result of the “large-capacity” magazine ban. The company relocated its Erie, Colorado production and distribution operation (pictured in the photo above) to Cheyenne, Wyoming and its headquarters to Austin, Texas.