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Old May 18, 2013, 08:20 AM   #1
Al Norris
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55 (updated) Colorado Sheriffs File Against The State

There are 64 Counties in Colorado. Yesterday, Friday May 17th, 54 of Colorado's Sheriffs (along with several other plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit in the US Federal District Court for Colorado.

The suit seeks to enjoin the State from enforcing HB 1224 (13-1225) and HB 1229 (13-1229), on 2A and 14A grounds. The suit also asks the court to declare the laws unconstitutional and grant a permanent injunction against enforcement.

This lawsuit is David Kopel' first foray into the 2A lawsuit waters, as he is the lead attorney for the Sheriffs.David Kopel is an attorney with the Independence Institute and has filed many amici briefs in other cases. He is also a well recognized member of The Volokh Conspiracy blog.

I will have the info for posting in the 2A Cases thread, likely Monday or Tuesday.
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Old May 18, 2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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saw that in the paper today. Am very interested in that.
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Old May 18, 2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Lines 100-104 deal with the ability and necessity of occasionally calling upon armed citizens to assist law enforcement. The argument is put forth that limiting the efficacy of citizen's arms impedes that purpose. The Ted Bundy case is cited as an actual example of Sheriffs doing just that.

No argument could be more literally in sync with the 2nd amendment's only announced purpose: the ability of the government to call forth an armed citizenry to effect security. In my opinion, this constitutional argument from 54 sheriffs is one of the strongest to date against AWB's and magazine limits.

Quote:
100. In addition to the core infringement on a fundamental right inherent in any enforcement of these provisions, the result of the many ambiguities will be varying individual decisions and inconsistent enforcement across jurisdictions. Effective law enforcement depends on close and supportive relations between the public and law enforcement. Unconstitutional, vague laws which are inconsistently enforced poison that relationship, and make it significantly more difficult for the Sheriffs to receive the witness cooperation, tips, and other forms of public support which are necessary to effective law enforcement in a free society.

101. Sheriffs have the common law power to request the armed assistance of able-bodied adults in their County. This is known as the “posse comitatus.” One well-known use of the posse in Colorado was in June 1977, when Pitkin County citizens with their own guns responded to a request to help with the search for escaped mass murderer Theodore Bundy.

102. Sheriffs also have the authority to appoint deputies who are not certified peace officers. The “non-certified” deputies may be appointed for a limited period of time, or for specific tasks. C.R.S. §§ 16-2.5-103(2); 30-10-506. Particularly in rural parts of Colorado, Sheriffs utilize the authority to deputize individuals to augment law enforcement efforts in times of disturbances and natural disasters.

103. When those Sheriffs deputize, they do not have a cache of firearms to issue. Moreover, a person who is deputized in an emergency will be safer and more effective using his or her personal firearm, with which he or she is already familiar.

104. HB 1224 seriously impedes the ability of Sheriffs to call upon armed citizen assistance during emergencies and natural disasters because it prevents citizens from having the types of magazines which the Sheriffs and their ordinary deputies have determined to be most effective for the preservation of public safety.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; May 18, 2013 at 06:10 PM.
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Old May 18, 2013, 05:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro pistolero
Lines 100-104 deal with the ability and necessity of occasionally calling upon armed citizens to assist law enforcement. The argument is put forth that limiting the efficacy of citizens arms impedes that purpose. The Ted Bundy case is cited as an actual example of Sheriffs doing just that.

No argument could be more literally in sync with the 2nd amendment's only announced purpose: the ability of the government to call forth an armed citizenry to effect security. In my opinion, this constitutional argument from 54 sheriffs is one of the strongest to date against AWB's and magazine limits.
By coincidence, I am halfway through a multi-week "citizens' police academy" being run by the local police department in the town adjacent to my home town. There's enough cooperation between the two towns that they open these classes to residents of my town if there aren't enough from their own town to fill the class. This year I got in.

This week's class was given by the department's armorer/firearms & tactics instructor/SWAT team leader. One of the things he said that I think most people missed but I latched onto was that he doesn't favor gun control or magazine capacity limits because he knows the citizens with carry licenses have been checked out pretty thoroughly, and he knows there may come a day when he needs one of us to save his life.

He did not say, however, whether or not his chief subscribes to that philosophy.
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Old May 18, 2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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Interesting fact: Colorado has 64 counties.
So thats more than 84% of the Sheriffs in Colorado who are against this law.
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Old May 18, 2013, 06:34 PM   #6
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Kopel is a great guy - shot with him outside of Boulder.

If you want excellent scholarly books on the RKBA - google his.
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Old May 18, 2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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Right after those magazine laws passed, I read that numerous sheriffs claimed they wouldn't even attempt to enforce the laws regarding "high capacity" magazines due to the fact that the law stated you can't purchase them after a date in July, but those that were purchased before the July date were legal to own/keep. Law enforcement stated that it would be nearly impossible to determine if magazines were bought before the July date, purchased out of state and brought in before or after the July date, etc. and that they weren't even going to bother trying to figure it out. Fortunately if the gun laws are repealed at least Colorado citizens will be able to purchase new 15+ rounders in the future. I plan on moving to Denver and hope the 30 rounders I currently own won't be an issue.
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Old May 18, 2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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Here is a link to the press conference announcing the suit. Kopel is the perfect guy for this and Sheriffs Cooke, Maketa, and Smith are all great spokesmen for this topic as well. They also added another sheriff today. That is now 85% support.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49F1uWp7kMo

III Percent- You will want to verify this, but I think Denver already has its own mag capacity limit of 20 rounds in city limits.
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Old May 18, 2013, 11:46 PM   #9
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Here is a link to Kopel's Blog entry on the Volokh Conspiracy websitehttp://www.volokh.com/2013/05/18/col...nti-gun-bills/

What I find most interesting is the inclusion of the bolded quote below. Is this a First? I think it will open up a whole new avenue of attack on the 2nd A. front if successful.
Quote:
The Complaint alleges violations of the Second Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment (vagueness), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Old May 19, 2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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I hope that everyone reads this complaint. It is very readable and understandable. In each and every claim, David Kopel has explained in detail what is wrong with the enacted laws. Yet as detailed as it is, it is done in plain language.

I believe David has read through many, if not all, the suits we have been reporting on and he has distilled the basic arguments in the initial complaint that has been later shot down by the courts, across this nation, because they lacked certain elements in those other complaints.

The State, I believe, is going to have a very difficult time defending these laws.
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Old May 19, 2013, 02:13 AM   #11
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:groan:

I do wish people, especially people on our side, would use proper English. To wit:

Quote:
The bill requires that when one individual sells or loans a firearm to another, ...
"Loan" is a noun. The verb is "lend."

[/rant] We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Old May 19, 2013, 03:03 AM   #12
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It is both a noun and a transitive verb. As a verb, it is synonymous with "lend".

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loan
2 loan transitive verb Definition of LOAN : lend
Checked my 1965 edition of Websters to see if there has been a relatively recent change in usage, but it is consistent with the above.
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Old May 19, 2013, 03:19 AM   #13
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I was born in England, love the language, my pet peeve. Your, instead of you are!

I would say loan or lend? My favorite word "Whilst" Love that word.

Back to the thread, you have to love these Sheriffs.
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Old May 19, 2013, 03:46 AM   #14
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My friendly local gunshop in Windsor,Colorado,Bear Arms has a facebook page.They relay releases from Magpul to the facebook page.Magpul has joined the Sheriffs in this suit.

The fb post was Friday,and there is an update:

https://www.facebook.com/beararmswindsor
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Old May 20, 2013, 07:03 PM   #15
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From a pro-gun rights perspective, one paragraph of the lawsuit that individuals that frequent this forum might want to pay special attention to is the following one.

---------------
168. The individual right to keep and bear arms and to use those arms for self-defense extends to all firearms that are “in common use at the time.” Id. at 627. The Court emphasized that the Second Amendment does protect firearms which are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” Firearms which do not meet this standard may be banned if they are “dangerous and unusual weapons.” The paradigmatic examples of the latter category are sawed-off shotguns and machine guns. Id. at 625, 627.
---------------

While the sheriffs in question may view sawed-off shotguns and machine guns to be paradigmatic examples of arms that rightly belong to the category known as "dangerous AND unusual weapons," it is not an assertion that should be accepted at face value. Certainly, many would agree with it, just as many would agree that virtually any weapon should fall into that category.

That paragraph aside, the lawsuit certainly has a number of very pro-gun morsels in it.

---------------

One additional point to highlight, according to the following link, "Friday afternoon, Grand County Sheriff Rodney Johnson joined the case, bringing the number of plaintiff Sheriffs to 55 out of the 62 elected County Sheriffs in Colorado. (Denver and Broomfield have appointed Sheriffs who run the jail, but do not have the comprehensive responsibilities of the elected Sheriffs.) The Complaint will be amended next week to reflect Sheriff Johnson’s participation."

http://www.volokh.com/2013/05/18/col...nti-gun-bills/
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Old May 22, 2013, 09:26 PM   #16
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According to recent articles in "The American Hunter", Magpul has also informed the Governor & state legislature that they plan to leave the state of CO as soon as a more suitable in a more gun friendly state has been secured.

In addition there are articles/news releases from the NRA urging hunters to boycott the state for future hunting trips. It is estimated that hunting is a $1.8 million industry in CO and while the outfitters, motel operators, restaurants, etc. will suffer the most, the state politicians will begin to get the monetary message. Several outfitters were interviewed and stated that they have been receiving quite a few cancellations for booked hunts and future hunt bookings are behind.

Hopefully they (the liberal politicians) will begin to get the message that they can't trample the 2nd amendment without consequences!
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Old May 23, 2013, 02:58 PM   #17
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The problem with that view (and I do support them) is that the politicians really welcome the moving and don't care about the loss of income.

Let's say your state produces evil product X (legal pot, ****, guns or fois gras) - you ban and the producer of evil leaves. You are happy.

The impact is that other folks who are damaged - vote you out. But the zealot will not change their views about stuffing grain down a duck.
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Old May 23, 2013, 03:58 PM   #18
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The only way I can see something really hurting the politicians is if the suppliers for raw materials to Magpul also started closing up shop and moving as well, but seeing as such suppliers must be lucrative in their business in the event of such a thing as their major provider packs up and leaves. That is not likely to happen.

Regardless, I applaud Magpul for doing what they're doing, it's a shame that it's come to this since I'm sure a lot of innocent collateral damage (income wise) will occur from this move.

Even worse still, as Glenn said, the politicians don't give a rats rear end, because they get exactly what they want. One less business that sells evil "x" item out of their state.
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:18 PM   #19
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Fifty-five county Sheriffs, 19 private businesses/asspciations and 3 individuals have joined in this lawsuit. New in the FAC are Rodney Johnson, Sheriff of Grand County and Colorado Youth Outdoors.

All the pertinant briefs have been RECAPped and are located on the Internet Archive.
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:32 PM   #20
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I am trying to imagine what standing the sheriff's would have in a case like this beyond the fact that they are also citizens. Anybody got a clue? Are there other examples of LE agencies suing over laws which violate civil rights?
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:41 PM   #21
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As enforcers of the law, I would think that their standing is from the angle that the laws are vague and could engender several different interpretations. This leads to people in the same circumstances being treated differently, based solely on the opinion of a LEO.
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Old June 23, 2013, 12:12 AM   #22
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Hmmm. Do you have to show harm to have standing?
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Old June 23, 2013, 09:52 AM   #23
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Yes you do. I'm not exactly sure how that will play out in regards to the 55 Sheriffs.
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Old June 23, 2013, 03:31 PM   #24
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I find it noteworthy that when gun control advocates claim favor for their positions among law enforcement, they like to trot out police chiefs, many if not most of whom are appointed to their positions by mayors, city councils, or other such government entities. Meanwhile, opposition to gun control seems fairly strong among sheriffs, the vast majority of whom are elected to their positions by the voters of their jurisdictions. This seems rather telling in regards to gun control and the will of the people.
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Old June 23, 2013, 04:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
I find it noteworthy that when gun control advocates claim favor for their positions among law enforcement, they like to trot out police chiefs, many if not most of whom are appointed to their positions by mayors, city councils, or other such government entities. Meanwhile, opposition to gun control seems fairly strong among sheriffs, the vast majority of whom are elected to their positions by the voters of their jurisdictions. This seems rather telling in regards to gun control and the will of the people.
If it were the will of the people to control guns, then 73 million background checks wouldn't have been done since the 2008 elections.
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