July 11, 2013

Courtly Behavior

I don't know how to describe it, as I can't really say the judge actually heard arguments about the preliminary injunction of Colorado's magazine ban (posted about briefly here), but here are some headlines about it.

Colorado gun laws: Two compromises on ammo magazines reached

Judge won’t halt Colorado high-capacity magazine ban law

Federal judge refuses to block Colorado’s ban on high-capacity magazines

Denver judge won't block Colorado gun magazine law

Here's the gist; Kopel and crew asked for a preliminary injunction on 2 parts of the magazine ban; they wanted the judge to stop enactment of the parts dealing with continuous possession and magazines that held less than 15 rounds but were readily convertible via a basepad swap. I do wish I had time to rant about going after just those 2 portions of the law, as I don't find this law has much sever-ability in it (in other words it should have been the whole damn thing because of those two parts if nothing else), but as I mentioned before, time is not something I have a lot of.

The judge, Marcia Krieger of the federal 10th circuit, scheduled this hearing on the preliminary injunction on July 10th. The law went into effect on July 1rst. I looked on the calendar on the 10th circuit website and she appeared to have the 27th and 28th of June open, but she scheduled it on the 10th of July.

Well, she said that because the law already went into effect (9 days prior to the hearing) that she could not prevent the law from being enacted!

There was also an agreement reached twixt Kopel and pals and the state that basically said they'd issue a directive to not enforce this law on any magazine that cannot hold more than 15 rounds, and that temporary transfers, such as handing a friend a pistol or rifle with the mag in it, or leaving the magazine with a gunsmith, or even loaning the magazine to a friend for a few weeks would not be considered a violation of the continuous possession language. Public servant Kreiger said that the agreement makes the motion moot anyway, and so no actual hearing was held (if I'm reading these news accounts correctly).

Keep in mind, this directive does not apply to any cop not directly under state control, so the local cop or deputy can ignore it and arrest you. The D.A. may even be able to charge you, but it would likely become an affirmative defense at trial. Also, this technical advisement can change at any old damn time the governor or his successor wishes.

That doesn't stop optimism though:

First Major Success in Lawsuit Challenging New Gun Control Laws

I'd disagree heartily that this was anything close to a success. It may have temporarily negated 2 very bad parts of a bad law, but that sort of selective enforcement is not a remedy, just a tenuous band-aid.

Anyway, there is some good news - partially at least. The National Association for Gun Rights brought a case to court and the judge ruled in their favor. The case concerned whether a person could bring a firearm onto the property of a federal postal facility. The judge held that denial of firearms in the parking lot amounted to a 2nd amendment violation, although the judge erred in saying that banning firearms in the buildings themselves was okey-dokey. I of course disagree, and hopefully one day I'll have time to go into detail as to why, but for the moment at least the parking lots of federal buildings aren't 2nd amendment free-zones.

Posted by Publicola at July 11, 2013 11:56 AM | TrackBack

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