Fifty-five Sheriffs in Colorado File Suit Over Anti-Gun Bills

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Fifty-five Colorado Sheriffs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two gun bills passed by the Colorado legislature in March. The suit was filed Friday in Federal District Court in Denver.

www.independenceinstitute.org

Lawsuit Press Conference

"The law violates the Supreme Court rule against prohibiting arms which are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens."

Fifty-five Sheriffs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two Colorado gun bills passed by the Colorado legislature in March. The suit was filed Friday in Federal District Court in Denver.

The Sheriffs held a press conference regarding the lawsuit at the Independence Institute, 727 East 16th Ave., Denver 80203 A video of the press conference is viewable in its entirety online.
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Joining the 55 Sheriffs in the civil rights lawsuit are disabled individuals, Outdoor Buddies (a charitable organization for disabled individuals), licensed firearms dealers, Magpul, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Colorado State Shooting Association, the Colorado Outfitters Association, Colorado Youth Outdoors, and Women for Concealed Carry.

The civil rights Complaint was filed on May 17, 2013 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Case Number: 1:2013cv01300 and is available in its entirety online.

The civil rights suit alleges that the two bills:

-Violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
-Violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
-Violate Title II of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit points out that House Bill 1224 outlaws the majority of firearms magazines, which are an essential component for a functional firearm. The bill directly outlaws magazines of more than 15 rounds. The bill indirectly outlaws many smaller magazines with its vague language about "designed to be readily converted." This appears to outlaw all handgun and rifle box magazines with removable floor plates, and all rifle tube magazines with removable end caps.

The lawsuit charges that this violates the Supreme Court's rule in District of Columbia v. Heller against prohibiting arms which are "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes."

Another problem cited in the complaint is the magazine ban which requires "continuous possession" of grandfathered magazines. This makes it illegal for a wife to let her husband use her magazine for self-defense, or to borrow her magazine and take it to a target range.

The lawsuit also states that because disabled citizens cannot change magazines rapidly, their fundamental right to self-defense in the home is especially threatened by the magazine ban.

House Bill 1229 imposes an unworkable system of mandatory fees and background checks on many temporary transfers of firearms. Programs which foster participation by disabled persons and by other persons in outdoor sports will be prohibited from lending a firearm to someone for a hunting trip. Family farms which are organized as a corporation will have to pay $22 per family member and farmhand for background checks every time the farm purchases a gun.

For further information about the case, and for interviews:

Office of Weld County Sheriff John Cooke. Contact Steve Reams at 970 397-0534.

Office of El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. Contact Jacqueline Kirby, Director of Information. 719-520-7183. jacquelinekirby@elpasoco.com.

Office of Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith. 970-498-5106.

Independence Institute, office of Sheriffs' attorney David Kopel. 303-279-6536 x112, david@i2i.org.

The Independence Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Denver, Colo.

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Mike Krause
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