With 55 of the state’s 62 sheriffs on board, the federal lawsuit challenging Colorado’s 15-round magazine limit landed in a federal courtroom in Denver on Monday.
The plaintiffs — a mix of Colorado Sheriffs, local FFL holders, former Colorado magazine manufacturer Magpul, and industry groups — seek to overturn the 2013 law that imposes a ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.
Opening arguments in front of U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger began with lawyers for the plaintiffs, including The Independence Institute’s Professor David Kopel.
“They wanted to legislate for the sake of legislating in the wake of the Aurora Theater shooting. Objections were rushed or pushed aside,” plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Westfall said during opening statements.
In the suit, the sheriffs and industry groups said the current ban “vague, fails to give adequate notice of the conduct that may result in criminal penalties, may result in inconsistent enforcement, and prevents free exercise of Second Amendment rights.”
Meanwhile, the law, according to the opening statement of Colorado Deputy Attorney General Matthew Grove, “Makes it harder for dangerous people to get guns,” and, will “likely lead to a reduction in firearm homicide rates in Colorado.
The lawsuit could face an uphill fight if precedents from other U.S. District Courts are considered.
During the opening proceedings to the suit, Judge Marcia Krieger , a 2002 Bush appointee, told attorneys for both sides to stick to the evidence and refrain from argument.
Guns.com has been advised by at least one of the attorneys in the case that the Court had instructed them not to try the case in the media.
Previously Judge Krieger, who has been involved with the suit for nearly a year, shot down the prospect of the sheriffs in the case suing the state as law enforcement officials, saying that they could only proceed as private individuals.
“If individual sheriffs wish to protect individual rights or interests they may do so however, the sheriffs have confused their individual rights and interests with those of the county sheriff’s office,” Krieger said last November on the subject.
Nevertheless, the sheriffs, industry groups, and citizens involved in the suit are optimistic about the outcome.
“This suit is about our way of life, our freedoms, our rights and our liberties, which transcend political affiliation and place of residence,” said Weld County Sheriff John Cooke in a statement.
The hearing is set to last for the next two weeks and any decision for or against is expected to continue to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.