Colorado Sheriffs Refuse to Give Up Their Fight to Protect Second Amendment Rights

Dozens of current and former sheriffs from counties around the state are continuing with their lawsuit to repeal stricter state gun laws put in place in 2012.  Those laws limit the capacity of ammunition magazines and expand background checks on gun purchases in Colorado.

Sheriffs like Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario say they are committed to fighting to protect what they say are citizens’ Second Amendment rights and arguing that the gun laws in question are unenforceable or nearly impossible to enforce.  Vallario argued enforcing expanded background checks is impossible when someone lends a gun to a friend, or that some people would put themselves at danger of prosecution for giving a gun to a friend for storage.

On June 26, 2014, a federal judge ruled against the sheriffs and upheld Colorado gun restrictions that were enacted in response to 2012 mass shootings, saying that limiting the size of ammunition magazines and expanding background checks on firearm purchases are constitutional acts.

“A court does not act as a super-legislature to determine the wisdom or workability of the legislation,” U. S. District Judge Marcia Krieger said in the 50-page decision she issued. “Instead, it determines only whether legislation is constitutionally permissible. A law may be constitutional, but nevertheless foolish, ineffective, or cumbersome to enforce.”

The sheriffs appealed the case to the federal appeals court for the 10th Circuit in Denver.

On September 28, 2015, attorneys for the sheriffs made their oral arguments before a three-judge panel at the Appeals Court, however, no decision is likely to be issued any time soon.  This court usually takes four or five months to issue its opinions in civil cases, but it could come down sooner.  We will keep you informed.

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