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Fri Jul 29, 2022, 06:43 PM

New lawsuit challenges Colorado's high-capacity magazine ban in wake of Supreme Court's expansion of

Supreme Court’s expansion of gun rights
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners files new Second Amendment challenge in federal court
An organization of gun owners mounted a new legal challenge to Colorado’s nearly decade-old ban on large-capacity magazines Thursday, citing a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last month that was seen as a major expansion of gun rights.

The National Foundation for Gun Rights, the legal arm of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, sued Gov. Jared Polis in U.S. District Court in Denver, asking a federal judge to strike down as unconstitutional the state’s 2013 ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition, enacted in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting.

The Colorado Supreme Court in 2020 unanimously upheld the ban, ruling in a lawsuit brought by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in state court that the prohibition does not violate residents’ right to bear arms as guaranteed by the state Constitution.

But with the new challenge — this time in federal court — Rocky Mountain Gun Owners cite last month’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen ruling, which found a gun-permitting law in New York violated the Second Amendment. The majority interpreted the Second Amendment as protecting people’s rights to carry a gun for self-defense outside the home.

The language in Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion heightened concerns that state gun-control laws across the country, from setting age limits on firearm purchases to banning high-capacity magazines, may now be in jeopardy.

“In last month’s landmark Bruen decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected ‘intermediate scrutiny’ — the cost/benefit analysis framework that allowed lower courts to rule against the Second Amendment — and established that the standard for applying the Second Amendment is the text, history and tradition of the right to keep and bear arms; thereby, invalidating the lower court rulings’ justification for gun control,” Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said in its announcement of the lawsuit.

A spokesman for Polis said the governor’s office does not comment on pending litigation.

The state lawsuit names as plaintiffs Benjamin Gates and Travis Swartz, describing the pair as Colorado residents and “law-abiding citizens of the United States.” The pair currently own magazines that are capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition.


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