Public Safety & Justice

Compromises on Colorado Gun Laws Reached Before Court Stepped In

The first salvo in a legal battle to block Colorado's new limits on gun ammunition magazines fizzled Wednesday, but sheriffs, firearm dealers and other opponents still aim to have the law declared unconstitutional.
July 11, 2013

The first salvo in a legal battle to block Colorado's new limits on gun ammunition magazines fizzled Wednesday, but sheriffs, firearm dealers and other opponents still aim to have the law declared unconstitutional.

Both sides in the dispute about the new gun law reached a last-minute agreement to clarify certain provisions of the law, which limits ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.

That agreement came on the eve of a hearing before Chief U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger, who was being asked to issue a temporary injunction to block portions of the law until a trial could be held on the merit of the full lawsuit.

Krieger said Wednesday the agreement meant there was no need to issue an injunction.

As originally written, the plaintiffs said, a "grandfather" clause would make it illegal for someone to lend a magazine of more than 15 rounds to someone else.

The two sides agreed that Attorney General John Suthers would redraft guidance to say that continuous possession is interrupted only when a person sells a gun magazine. It will also say that if law enforcement agencies seize or find a stolen magazine, it will be returned to the owner.

Under the agreement, magazines with removable base plates are no longer considered readily converted to hold additional rounds, another sticking point for plaintiffs.

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