Rocky Mountain Gun Owners et al. v. John C. Hickenlooper Complaint in the District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado

Michael Harless District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Firearms Law, Litigation

Today a complaint was filed in the case of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners,et al. v. John C. Hickenlooper in the District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado on behalf of plaintiffs Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, National Association for Gun Rights, Inc., John A. Sternberg, and DV-S,LLC, d/b/a Alpine Arms. This case is a constitutional challenge of two Colorado firearm laws, HB 1229 and HB 1224. Our firm is serving as of counsel to the plaintiffs.

With certain limited exceptions, HB 1229 makes unlawful the transfer of a firearm between private individuals unless the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (“CBI”) first conducts a background check and confirms that the transferee is eligible to possess the firearm. HB 1229 does not, however, allow either a willing transferor nor a willing transferee of a covered firearm transfer to obtain a CBI background check. Rather, it requires the transferor to locate—and persuade—a federally-licensed firearms dealer to obtain the CBI background check, complying with all federal and state laws, and using the same procedure as if the proposed transfer were of a firearm sold out of the FFL’s own firearms inventory. HB 1224 bans outright all ammunition magazines sold or acquired after July 1, 2013 that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition. HB 1224 also bans most other magazines of any size because it prohibits smaller magazines that are “designed to be readily converted” to hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition, and imposes a condition of continuous possession that makes it impossible to lawfully possess a magazine of any capacity. HB 1224, also, effectively operates as a ban on having a functional, operating unit for most handguns and a very large fraction of rifles.

Our complaint alleges that HB 1229 violates the due process and equal protection provisions of Article II, Section 25 of the Colorado Constitution. Further HB 1229 is an unconstitutional delegation of executive authority and legislative power. Finally HB 1229 and HB 1224 violate the right to keep and bear arms secured by Article II, Section 13 of the Colorado Constitution.

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