DENVER (AP/CBS4) — The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the state’s ban on large capacity gun magazines. The law was passed in 2013, a year after the Aurora theater shooting, in an effort to limit the number of deaths in mass shootings.
A “large-capacity magazine” is defined to include a “fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip, or similar device capable of accepting, or that is designed to be readily converted to accept, more than fifteen rounds of ammunition.”
In a ruling on Monday, the court said limiting magazines to 15 rounds does not prevent people from bearing arms to defend themselves as required by the state constitution.
The plaintiffs, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (a Colorado nonprofit organization), the National Association for Gun Rights (a Virginia nonprofit organization), and John A. Sternberg, argued the ban infringed on
the right to bear arms—not under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but under article II, section 13 of the Colorado Constitution.
“Plaintiffs construe HB 1224’s definition of ‘large-capacity magazine’ to encompass all magazines with removable base pads because such magazines can be ‘readily converted to accept more than fifteen rounds of ammunition,’” the court wrote.
“They argue that HB 1224 therefore operates to ban practically all detachable magazines, violating Coloradans’ state constitutional right to bear arms in defense of home, person, and property,” the court wrote. “We disagree. We conclude that Plaintiffs’ interpretation of the definition of ‘large-capacity magazine’ is inconsistent with the provision’s plain text because it ignores the narrowing language, ‘designed to be readily converted to accept more than fifteen rounds of ammunition.’”
“Because Plaintiffs do not challenge HB 1224 under the Second Amendment, we do not address whether the legislation runs afoul of the federal constitution. That separate question is simply not before us,” the court stated.
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