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Successes in Colorado Sheriffs’ Second Amendment case

This post provides an update on last week’s developments in Cooke et al. v. Hickenlooper. This is a lawsuit filed May 17 in federal District Court in Denver, challenging two gun laws enacted by the state legislature in March. In the case, I represent 55 of Colorado’s 62 elected Sheriffs, plus one retired police officer. Other plaintiffs, with their own attorneys, include the Colorado Farm Bureau, Outdoor Buddies (which helps disabled people participate in outdoor sports), the Colorado Outfitters Association (trade association for hunting guides), federally-licensed firearms dealers, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and others. We argue that House Bill 1224 (magazine ban) and House Bill 1229 (background checks and paperwork on temporary loans and private sales of firearms) violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

On June 12, we filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on two narrow issues in the magazine ban.

1. The magazine ban outlaws magazines which accept more than 15 rounds of ammunition. The ban also applies to magazines which are “designed to be readily converted” to hold more than 15. We argued that the “designed” language was unconstitutionally vague, in violation of the 14th Amendment, and to the extent that the language had any clear meaning, it violated the Second Amendment.

2. To qualify for grandfathering, a person must fulfill two requirements. First: own the magazine on July 1. Second: maintain “continuous possession” thereafter. We argued that “continuous possession” was unconstitutionally vague, and that what meaning it did have (according to the Attorney General) violated the Second Amendment.

On the eve of the July 10 preliminary injunction hearing, the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the Colorado Attorney General’s office reached an agreement which resulted in new Technical Guidance being published by the Attorney General on July 10. The new [...]

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China is a country. China is a kind of dish. According to, “china” is also “a playing marble of china, or sometimes of porcelain or glass.” But it turns out that, in some states, a term pronounced — but not spelled — “china” is a bit of legalese. What does it mean? [...]

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