February 07, 2013

Co HB 1224

This is the magazine capacity ban we've been hearing about around here.

Colorado House Bill 1224 would prohibit transfer of "large capacity" magazines after enactment. It actually bans "sale, transfer, or possession" but exempts a person if such an evil implement was owned on the date of enactment and possessed continuously. For handguns and rifles 10 is still the new 10, but for shotguns 5 is the new 10 (or 7 if you're a refugee from NY). Any magazines made in Colorado after the effective date (July 1rst, 2013) would have to have an individualized serial number and date along with whatever else they decide to add later on.

It exempts tube magazines for .22's, and tube magazines for lever action firearms. Note: it does not say anything about semi-automatic firearms. This bill bans magazines. That means manually operated firearms that have a 10+ fixed magazine would have to be permanently altered to take no more than 10 rounds. A shotgun that has more than 5 rounds in the mag would have to be permanently altered to take no more than 5 rounds.

Just to make sure I'm being clear, that pump shotgun with a 6 round mag would be illegal to sell or buy after the effective date of this bill. Ditto for that SMLE in 7.62x51 that holds 12 in the mag. To reiterate, bolt action rifles and pump action shotguns would be subject to these restrictions.

The bill does say that you must continuously possess such magazines on and after the effective date - I wonder if that'd be an affirmative defense to carrying an 870 or a Browning High Power continuously if you wandered into a prohibited zone (like Denver)? Probably not...

It has a progressive penalty system. 1rts offense is a class 2 misdemeanor, 2nd offense is a class 1 misdemeanor, and the 3rd time you flout this constitutionally abhorrent piece of tripe you will have committed a class 6 felony.

I doubt it'll happen, but under the broad language herein, the CBI could require all manufacturers of "large capacity" magazines to engrave "War and Peace" on each mag. Oh of course they'd never do such a thing, just like they'd never make not wearing a seatbelt a primary offense...

It does say that if you possess a prohibited magazine whilst committing a "felony or any crime of violence" you've committed a class 6 felony. So in theory if a lady slaps some cad for being an ass while carrying an 11 round magazine in her purse, she's a felon if caught.

It does say that a ".22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device" is exempt. I wonder if this'll get someone to design a tube fed AR? (I jest. Least I hope I'm just jesting...)

Before revolver owners get too happy about not being affected, the language is broad enough that it could be construed to include cylinders as well as detachable and fixed magazines. There is at least one revolver which holds more than 10 rounds - the 12 shot .22LR U.S. Firearms 12/22. So if you had your eye on one of those and live in Colorado, ya might want to grab it before this thing gets passed.

It prohibits "transfers" which I'm assuming means just that - a transfer. Not a sale or change of title. It also prohibits "possession". so if person A had a legal magazine after this went into effect, and person A handed it to person B, then person A would have made an illegal transfer and person B would be in illegal possession. If this sort of anti-social behavior occurs 3 times within notice of a cop, then it's felonies for everybody. Needles to say this could seriously dampen a range trip if folks actually obeyed such a constitutionally abysmal law.

So lever action shotgun, rifles and handguns are exempt, as well as tube fed .22's. Semi-automatic firearms, automatic firearms, bolt action firearms, pump action firearms, and revolvers are not exempt, even if they have a non detachable magazine. It's the magazines themselves, so unless it's a lever action or a .22 with a tube fed magazine, it'd be covered by this bill.

Such nastiness...

Posted by Publicola at February 7, 2013 07:56 PM | TrackBack

I think that "transfer" has a specific meaning in the context of firearms law, which does not encompass transitory episodes. I'd have to dig for a bit to find the legal definition.

I would also point out that there is such a thing as rectangular tubing, so broadly speaking, the STANAG is tubular. But then so is Fee Waybill.

Hard to think of how you'd get a cylindrical tube magazine to feed in an AR. It'd take a different bolt carrier, at least, I think.

Posted by: jed at February 8, 2013 04:41 PM

Transfer may be defined elsewhere, but going on the language of this bill it'd seem to cover a temporary loan. There's an exemption for shooting ranges run by a commercial concern, as well as an exemption in your home if life & limb are threatened, so that by implication means temporary transfers are "transfers" according to this bill.

It could be superfluous like DiFi exempting bolt action rifles from her AWB, but I think the courts would construe "transfer" to be as simple as me handing you something to look at for a few seconds.

The big problem with an AR tube mag would be those danged pointy bullets. It'd have to be a tube large enough to offset the spitzer to primer interface. I can think of a few ways to do that but all are complex & thus more prone to malfunction - just what an AR needs ;)

Posted by: Publicola at February 9, 2013 01:32 AM

The pointy bullet problem has already been solved by Hornady -- LEVERevolution Ammo (they should get Ron Paul to endorse it).

Posted by: jed at February 9, 2013 08:25 AM
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