Colorado Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Magazine Ban Skirted 2nd Amendment

Colorado Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Magazine Ban Skirted 2nd Amendment

“The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that a law banning gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds is Constitutional,” Fox31Denver reports. “The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) filed the lawsuit, stating that the law violates a person’s state constitutional right to bear arms.

“In 2013, the democratic led House and Senate passed the ban in Colorado which prohibits the sale or possession of magazines that hold more than 15 rounds,” the report explains. “At the time, the law’s sponsor argued high-capacity magazines are designed to kill a large number of people in a short amount of time.”

That, no doubt, must be why the Democrat-controlled State of Colorado, and the Democrat-controlled major cities like Denver issue such weaponry to their law enforcement standing armies. So it’s OK if they “kill a large number of people in a short amount of time”? Those who tell such asinine lies never seem to address that.

As Second Amendment commentator Kurt Hofmann noted years ago: “Suddenly, what had been an ‘assault weapon’ (or the even less honest use of the term ‘assault rifle’) has become a ‘patrol rifle’--presumably because it is now in the hands of a police officer.”


The court’s disingenuous decision to withhold such equipment from the people flies in the face of the founding era understanding that “Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. ” It also flies in the face of the United States Supreme Court’s observation in U.S. v. Miller that the Second Amendment guarantees “ordinary military equipment [that] could contribute to the common defense.”


The weapons that were in common use at that time were precisely the arms the military had, that is, what was in common use by the infantry. Considering that many Patriots were equipped with rifles and the standard issue British long arm was a musket, in those cases, “the authorities” were even “outgunned.” We simply cannot ignore that the militia, at the time the Second Amendment was ratified, kept the same types of weapons at home as they were likely to encounter when called forth – otherwise, they would be marching off to their slaughter. That’s hardly an outcome that would be “necessary to the security of a free State.”

Whether “originalist” Justice Antonin Scalia was trying to water things down to make the Heller decision palatable enough to obtain five votes, or if he was trying to balance things out by not denying the obvious but still equivocating enough to “justify” future gun bans by his fellow elites died with him. But he sure left the door wide open for the gun-grabbers to use him as their source authority for “reasonable restrictions.”

But as Hamlet noted, “there’s the rub.”

The RMGO complaint was predicated on violation of the state constitution.


“Had Plaintiffs wished to have their allegations judged under Heller or McDonald, they could have raised a claim under the Second Amendment,” the opinion noted. “But they chose to challenge HB 1224 solely on state constitutional grounds.

“Had Plaintiffs brought a Second Amendment claim, we would, of course, be bound by the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of that provision,” a footnote added. “But that is because we would be enforcing a right guaranteed under the federal constitution, not a right under our state constitution.”

That doesn’t mean it would have been a slam dunk, as the unanimous ruling goes long on stare decisis über alles and short on anything resembling “shall not be infringed.” And even if limited to the Colorado Constitution, it’s obvious that “The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question” is having the hell questioned out of it.


That’s to be expected just by looking at the composition of the court, with five associate justices appointed by anti-gun Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper and one associate justice appointed by anti-gun Democrat Bill Ritter. Curiously, the one Republican on the bench is the chief justice, appointed by then-Gov. Bill Owens, himself the target of vocal protests from RMGO “over his support for firearms restriction legislation in the wake of the Columbine shooting.”

The irony is, by exclusively focusing on self-defense and ignoring the core purpose of the Second Amendment as articulated in its first thirteen words, “the security of a free State” is left in the hands of those who would eviscerate the individual right.

What’s clear, especially after the Roberts Court so glaringly ducked the Second Amendment, is that expecting unequivocal fidelity to founding intent from state or federal courts on the core purpose of right to keep and bear arms is not going to happen, at least until there’s a credible “or else” attached to the demand.

And if a Democrat “blue wave” takes it all in November, forget even little victories.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2nd Amendment recognizes a God-given right for the individual to defend one’s life and liberty against tyranny and genocide. It is nonsensical for a leftist democrat, or RINO republican, to make a statement that the 2nd Amendment was written as a defense against tyranny, and in the same breath, then state that “high capacity” magazines or even machine guns should be banned. Why would the Founders want a potentially tyrannical government to have more effective and advanced arms than the citizenry? If that were the case, the Founder’s would have stated that the citizenry can only own crossbows and catapults, instead of the most effective arms of the day which were muskets and cannon. The fact is that they didn’t, and were very clear in many of their writings as to the real purpose of the 2nd Amendment – a means by which the citizenry could repel a murderous tyrannical government.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms News and AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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