Federal judge refuses to block Colorado’s ban on high-capacity magazines

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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A federal judge in Denver won’t block a controversial new law banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds since the law has already gone into effect, according to the Associated Press.

The sheriffs sought an injunction against the magazine ban pending the outcome of their lawsuit to overturn it. The suit also seeks to overturn another law requiring universal background checks.

“It is already the law of the state and there is nothing for me to enjoin,” Judge Marcia Krieger said.

The new laws went into effect July 1.

Krieger also said that both sides in the case agreed late Tuesday night on limitations to how the law will be enforced while the case is being heard, making an injunction unnecessary.

The sheriffs are among several plaintiffs suing the state who say that the ban violates the Second Amendment. They also say the law is written too stringently, since it also bans magazines that can be easily converted to hold more than 15 rounds with after-market extenders.

The new enforcement limitations will not outlaw smaller capacity magazines simply because they can be easily converted to hold more.

Those who owned larger capacity magazines before the law went into effect are allowed to keep them as long as they’re in “continuous possession” of them, according to the wording of the law. Opponents have taken that to mean that a shooter can’t hand his rifle with the magazine inserted to another shooter without breaking the law.

In the days after the law went into effect, a few small groups of protesters in Denver and Fort Collins staged “hand-offs” in which they passed around unloaded 30-round magazines to one another to demonstrate how they believed the law was unenforceable.

The new agreement between the state and plaintiffs spells out that such “transfers” are not illegal, at least until the lawsuit is decided.

The magazine ban is by far the most controversial of several tough new gun laws enacted by Democrats during a highly contentious legislative session. It has led at least two gun-parts manufacturers to start the process of relocating out of state and the historic recall of two Democratic state senators.

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