This morning, fifty-four Colorado Sheriffs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against two bills IMG_20130517_102110passed by the Colorado legislature in March. The suit was filed in Federal District Court in Denver.

Joining the 54 Sheriffs in the civil rights lawsuit are disabled individuals, Outdoor Buddies (a charitable organization for disabled individuals), licensed firearms dealers, Magpul, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Colorado State Shooting Association, the Colorado Outfitters Association, Colorado Youth Outdoors, and Women for Concealed Carry.

The civil rights suit alleges that the two bills:

Violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Violate Title II of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit points out that House Bill 1224 outlaws the majority of firearms magazines, which are an essential component for a functional firearm. The bill directly outlaws magazines of more than 15 rounds. The bill indirectly outlaws many smaller magazines with its vague language about “designed to be readily converted.” This appears to outlaw all handgun and rifle box magazines with removable floor plates, and all rifle tube magazines with removable end caps.

This violates the Supreme Court’s rule in District of Columbia v. Heller against prohibiting arms which are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”

Another problem with the magazine ban is the requirement for “continuous possession” of grandfathered magazines. This makes it illegal for a wife to let her husband use her magazine for self-defense, or to borrow her magazine and take it to a target range.

Because disabled citizens cannot change magazines rapidly, their fundamental right to self-defense in the home is especially threatened by the magazine ban.

House Bill 1229 imposes an unworkable system of mandatory fees and background checks on many temporary transfers of firearms. Programs which foster participation by disabled persons and by other persons in outdoor sports will be prohibited from lending a firearm to someone for a hunting trip. Family farms which are organized as a corporation will have to pay $22 per family member and farmhand for background checks every time the farm purchases a gun.