Colorado Sheriffs’ Lawsuit Over Constitutionality of New State Gun Laws Gets Interesting

| by Asia Smith
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Sheriffs in 54 Colorado counties attempted to overturn new ammunition laws in the state banning magazines holding more than 15 rounds. The sheriffs appeared in court on Wednesday seeking to a preliminary injunction on the law, but a federal judge in Denver presiding over the case said that there was nothing for her to rule on, as attorneys for the sheriffs and the state had hammered out an agreement late on Tuesday.

The injunction on the magazine law was the first stage in a larger lawsuit filed against the state of Colorado by the sheriffs, who claim that the firearms laws, passed this spring by Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate in response to the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, violate the Second Amendment right to own and bear arms. The laws banned magazines holding over 15 rounds and expanded background checks on firearms sales. Wednesday’s court hearing addressed only the magazine ban, though the larger lawsuit seeks to overturn both laws.

In question on Wednesday was the lack of clarity regarding the magazine ban. Representatives of the sheriffs stated that the law was overly vague in regards to larger magazines that were grandfathered in. The Colorado Attorney General’s Office reformulated the law for clarification purposes, specifically designating the magazines to be included in the ban. Both sides agreed on the clarification of the law.

“Being able to agree to that, we hope things will move along, let us move on to discussing the Second Amendment aspects of this case in the future,” concluded Dan Domenico, Colorado’s solicitor general representing the state.

Due to time constraints and the complexity of the lawsuit, the sheriffs chose not to seek a preliminary injunction on the background check law, and will instead address the issue at the forthcoming trial, for which a date has not yet been set.

“We fixed two problems, two of the lesser problems on the bad law” said the sheriff’s attorney David Kopel. “The core problem with the bad law is what we’ll be going to trial about.”

Sources: CBS, Huffington Post, USA Today