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new Colorado firearms laws in effect


Several laws related to firearms were enacted by the legislature this year and signed into law by the governor. Below is a list.

  • HB13-1224- Prohibits large-capacity magazines (more than 15 rounds). 
  • HB13-1228- Fees for funding gun background checks. 
  • HB13-1229- Universal background checks for all gun sales. 
  • SB13-197- Prevents domestic violence offenders from possessing firearms. 
  • SB13-195- Requires in-person training for concealed carry permits. 

Colorado’s attorney general, John Suthers, issued a guidance memo on the new law that bans large-capacity magazines (those holding more than fifteen rounds). His position is that a magazine of fifteen rounds or less is not affected by the ban merely because the baseplate can be removed for cleaning or maintenance. That feature in itself does not make the magazine one “that is designed to be readily converted to accept, more than fifteen rounds of ammunition.”

Mr. Suthers’ memo also addresses the issue of possession and transfer of large capacity magazines after July 1, the effective date of this law. According to the memo, “an owner should not be considered to have ‘transferred’ a large-capacity magazine or lost ‘continuous possession’ of it simply by handing it to a gunsmith, hunting partner, or an acquaintance at a shooting range with the expectation that it will be promptly returned.”

Complete text of Mr. Suthers’ memo can be found here.

While it would be improper for the sheriff to defy the will of an elected legislature that enacted these laws and an elected governor who signed them into law, we in law enforcement are struggling with the practical implications of some of these measures, just as we are with Amendment 64’s legalization of recreational use of marijuana. I expect that this office will move slowly and focus on education rather than active enforcement for the time being. And we will certainly be mindful of the views of our constituents in this regard.