Judge Upholds Colorado’s Gun Laws

Gavel in Court

Given what I had heard about the trial, and the fact that the judge seemed to be a gun owner, I was optimistic that maybe this case wouldn’t end up being the typical District Court loss, but that would appear not to be the case. Grab your partner, gather round, and dance the intermediate scrutiny two-step on more time! Now granted, in the realm of Second Amendment opinions, I’ve read worse. I’ve actually read far worse, unfortunately. But I’m tired of this right being treated like the crazy uncle in the attic of American rights by judges. You don’t get to do that. The footnotes in this case are particularly tough to stomach:

The M-16 rifle mentioned by the Court is a military version of the AR-15 rifle, a rifle that several witnesses in this case testified that they possess for their own self-defense purposes. If, as Heller implies, the M-16 rifle can legally be prohibited without violating the Second Amendment, it seems to follow that other weapons such as the AR-15 may also be prohibited, notwithstanding the fact that some individuals believe that such weapon is important, or even essential, to their self-defense.

The M16 is a machine gun, Judge. The AR-15 is not. The AR-15 functions entirely differently. I don’t think that can just be glossed over so casually. Would it be legal to ban any firearm that has a military full-auto equivalent? Even the Browning BAR hunting rifle is based on a full-auto, military design. There’s a military version of the Glock pistol, and the Beretta pistol. This is poor reasoning.

After that, there’s this footnote about the paradox of better-trained users needing less rounds in a magazine:

There is a curious paradox here: the more competent the defensive firearm user, the more likely he or she is to hit her target with fewer shots, and thus, the less likely that user is to need a large-capacity magazine for defensive purposes. By contrast, the less competent or confident the user, the greater the number of rounds the user perceives he or she needs. One wonders how these perceptions are affected by exposure to military grade weaponry in news and entertainment.

What she doesn’t understand is that the dirty little secret is a big reason that cops almost universally carry large caps these days is because they need them, often due to poor firearms training. There is honestly no argument here that applies to civilians is not equally or more applicable to cops. Courts should not overlook police use in these cases. If magazines holding more than X rounds are routinely issued to officers, then they should be protected arms for civilians as well. End of analysis. We should not require civilian firearms owners and carriers to be trained gun ninjas, while we allow police officers to roam the streets with firearms, many of whom get no more practice in than their yearly qualifications.

The judge read the Americans with Disabilities Act narrowly in considering the ADA claims in the suit, arguing that because the laws didn’t create any particular government service that discriminated against the disabled, the ADA was no obstacle to the law. The claim seems to be that the ADA doesn’t apply to laws that discriminate against the disabled, only services. I don’t know enough about the ADA to comment on this.

This judge was a George W. Bush appointee. It was apparent during the trial she knew something about guns, and there seem to be evidence to believe she may actually own one. But this shows how utterly hostile the ruling class is to civilians being well-armed, and at least as well-armed as the police. I’m sure this will be appealed, but I am not optimistic. I’m afraid the only way Coloradans are getting rid of these new laws is to repeal them. The courts cannot be counted on to give meaningful relief for infringements on this fundamental right. The refusal of the Supreme Court to hear any further cases on the matter will only embolden lower courts in their efforts to marginalize the right. The Second Amendment is to remain the crazy uncle in the attic of the Bill of Rights for the foreseeable future.

As always, I encourage everyone to read the opinion. It is important for every Americans to understand how much judges do not care for this right, and do not care to treat it seriously. The only way we win is by punishing anti-gun politicians and electing pro-gun politicians. Everything else is window dressing.

45 thoughts on “Judge Upholds Colorado’s Gun Laws”

  1. There is a curious paradox here: the more competent the defensive firearm user, the more likely he or she is to hit her target with fewer shots, and thus, the less likely that user is to need a large-capacity magazine for defensive purposes.

    So when do highly trained Secret Service agents protecting high-profile politicians get their low-capacity magazines? Or does nonsense only apply to the proles?

    More likely, she had her conclusion and worked backwards to find an argument that supported it. Kinda. Only for the proles.

    1. Ever see a soldier with a 10 or 15 round mag in his M4?

      Yeah, me neither.
      I guess they’re just not competent.

  2. The sporting rifle BAR has no design relation at all to the M1918 / Colt Monitor.

    The AR-15 works EXACTLY like an M16 in semi-auto.

    There are no military versions of the Glock 17, it’s literally the same gun. I guess an Inoxâ„¢ Beretta could be considered a civilian version of a military gun, but that’s a materials difference not a functional one.

    One thing our side doesn’t need to is to lie or obfuscate; but if we make little mistakes we will be accused of lying!

    1. The AR-15 works EXACTLY like an M16 in semi-auto.

      The Mini-14 also works EXACTLY like an M16 in semi-auto. In fact, every magazine-fed .223 semi-auto works EXACTLY like an M16 in semi-auto. If it’s cool to ban semi-autos that look like M16s, then why wouldn’t it be cool to ban semi-autos that don’t look like M16s?

      1. It’s more pronounced in the AR because the parts are near identical and are interacting the same way.

        The mini’s trigger group is mechanically quite different.

        1. No, they have the same components – trigger, disconnector, hammer, hammer spring, and safety – and function similarly. The M16 also has an autosear, which neither the AR15 nor Mini-14 have. More importantly for the purposes of this discussion, both feed from box magazines and fire a round with each trigger pull. That’s as much as Sally Soccermom needs to know to get on board with you and Dianne Feinstein saying they’re just like the M16 or whatever.

          You’re right, our side doesn’t need to lie or obfuscate. I challenge you to lead by example.

          1. Put those parts side by side. They might perform the same functions but the Mini does them in a different manner.

            Put the AR parts next to the M16 parts and you’ll see they’re nearly identical to each other with relatively small changes made to make it semi-only.

            But please continue showing your ignorance in how things work and blaming others for your lack of understanding.

            1. How about the fact that the Mini is based off of the M-14, which is actually still used by the Navy for topside watches while in port? I could say that the Mini-30 is essentially a “military weapon” and it wouldn’t be inaccurate.

              Practically all semi-auto weapons technology has been based off the same handful of designs, all of which came from military usage. The anti-gunners (the ones smart enough to know they’re full of it) can easily shovel this BS and the gullible public who are either neutral or lean anti-gun on the issue will eat it up.

    2. I was ignorant of the BAR, I’ll admit. I thought it had some genesis with the military full auto rifle. But I was speaking of the Glock-18, which is the machine pistol version of the Glock 17. There’s also a full-auto version of the Beretta 92F.

      1. Beretta is a near 500 year old company… How many products is that?

        I figured you meant 92FS for civvie and M9 for military and there just isn’t any difference. I am not certain the 93R was officially adopted by any military, but there were certainly government sales.

        I think the same deal holds for the Glock 18. It’s a security agency gun not a mil gun. Odd isn’t it that the gun designed and bought for armies isn’t the MG in this case?

    3. The Browning BAR is indeed a derivative of a Military weapon. It’s design was taken from the Browning BAR, a fully automatic weapon used extensively in WWI and WWII.

      1. Is it?

        Everything I can find says the BAR hunting rifle has only its name and manufacturer in common with the M1918 BAR.

        Browning drops a lot of references to the M1918’s “fame” and Browning’s “legacy of design”.

        When they say “The BAR’s strength, reliability and durability trace their roots back to the most famous of all autos, the original M1918 BAR.”>/i> I take that, in context, as saying “and not a damned single piece of the mechanics is from an M1918”.)

      2. Actually, the M1918 BAR uses a tilting bolt that gets cammed into a recess in the receiver to lock it, more akin to an SKS. The hunting BAR uses a rotary bolt with lugs, similar to the AR-15/M-16.

        Either way, though, both BARs are gas operated and are fed with a box magazine, so it’s like arguing that a Mazda RX-7 isn’t really a sports car like a Datsun 280Z, because while they are both driven the exact same way, the Wankel engine in the Mazda makes it somehow more or less dangerous.

        /Ignoring the full-auto capability of the M1918, of course.

    4. Do you really expect the antis to understand, or even care about, the difference in action between the M1918/Colt Monitor BAR and its sporting namesake? THey are both semi-automatics, no, strike that, they are both _guns_, and as such must be obliterated from existence. Trust me, they will try to confuse the muggles about the difference; I can see them showing newsreels of a BAR on full auto to show how dangerous “sporting” arms are.

  3. The courts – at all levels- have shown disdain and open hostility to the 2nd Amendment because unlike other amendments, this one presents a more direct threat to the government’s ability to control people. Judges are part of the government, separation of powers be damned.

    1. You’d think they’d attack the First, then.

      Since without speech to spread ideas, weapons are harmless.

      1. Perhaps they ARE attacking free speech as well! When nearly any serious call to remove a tyrant from office becomes categorized as “hate speech” or a “terroristic threat,” we the people become intimidated into political silence. To me, the greatest threat to the Constitution and the liberty it was designed to secure are the perverse phrases, “wasn’t meant to be absolute,” “some exceptions are necessary,” and “reasonable regulations.” These simply mean that the courts, not the Creator, endow us with uncertain alienable privileges, rather than certain unalienable rights. IMHO.

      2. And ideas in the minds of silent, defenseless people may as well be unsaid.

        The First Amendment can easily be defanged in this manner, to the point of being rendered moot or merely de jure, without ever being actually repealed.

        Each requires the other. They’ll get to it, eventually, but there are lots of reasons why the Left seeks to take out the 2A first, in particular the fact that while no Leftists care for the 2A, many still imagine themselves as believing in 1A. The Left need not spook these useful idiots any sooner than is expedient.

  4. “If magazines holding more than X rounds are routinely issued to officers, then they should be protected arms for civilians as well. End of analysis”

    I think that’s what it boils down to. Arguments about safety, reloading, and so on cut both ways. But, it boils down to the fact that government employees are just that and deserve no special protections. The 2nd Amendment was written so that civilians were as equally well armed as the govt. period.

    1. civlians were as equally well armed as the govt.

      Those govt employees hate to be reminded that their ‘specialness’ they gave to themselves and they too are civilians!

  5. Why bother to argue? Wouldn’t it be better to publicly blast this judge and show the public what a fool she is?

    As a Marine, I can assure you that I have read the 2nd Amendment and the SCOTUS opinions that followed after Heller. This ruling won’t hold up in the big court and this judge should have been able to see it coming. One thing I know about judges is they don’t like their ego being slapped by a higher court because they made a first year law student mistake.

    Fire the politicians, make them all feel the bite, and start taking the government over again. They are accountable to the people not the other way around.

  6. For the love of g-d, the M16 is NOT PROHIBITED! It is highly regulated, but it is not illegal to own an M16. So much fail.

    1. The judge didn’t say they were. She said if they can be prohibited, per the Heller decision, then so can the AR-15. It’s quite a leap in logic, I think. But she’s speaking of what current Second Amendment juris prudence would allow, not what the law actually is or isn’t.

      1. Now that I’ve read the opinion, I think it’s pretty clear that we shouldn’t hope that the Supremes would strike down a ban on AR-15s. I never picked up on that M-16 language in Heller. I don’t expect them to save then.

        However, it won’t matter what the Supremes say when the decentralization of our great country occurs. Just make sure that you live in friendly territory.

  7. Didn’t realize M16s were prohibited from being owned. Oh, wait… That’s because they’re not! They’re prohibited from being made, not owned. If it’s a pre 1986 machine gun it’s perfectly legal to own provided the sear was registered. What do you expect though? The king’s courts rule in favor of the king… Big surprise.

    1. Read what the judge said. She didn’t say they were banned. She said that the Heller decision conceded they may be banned.

  8. A shogun with a 19″ barrel is a LOT more similar to a sawed off shotgun than an AR-15 is to an M-16…

    So does the judge think full size shotguns aren’t protected under the Second Ammendment?

    Sebastian is 100% right, this is going to be won or lost in the legislature, and counting on the pathetic judiciary to look past their bigotry is unrealistic.

  9. Can anyone link the case where Massad Ayoob sites the gun store owner firing over 100 rounds with an M16?

  10. The best way to win this will be to *first* get a case in front of the supreme court involving excessively militarized police and an violation of rights. Only then will SCT take notice. There have been cases where residents have shot police in no-knock rates and charges were not filed because they acted in self defense.

    Getting judges to recognize that the 2a says citizens should be as armed as govt employees, and showing them the harm, will really be the only way to swing some votes here IMO.

  11. She’s right. If a M16 can be banned under Heller, then an AR15 can also be banned. They look the same, they function almost exactly the same, and they have a clear military lineage. Either M16s are protected or AR15s are not. I argue for the prior.

  12. “The M16 is a machine gun,…”

    We should be cautious to avoid abandoning machine guns for the sake of semi autos. Any argument that can be successfully used to ban autos can easily be used against anything else. Particularly if they look the same and function the same.

    1. Unfortunately our grandparents, on my generation’s case, great-grandparents, lost that battle for us. I’m not abandoning machine guns. That was done in 1934 by people who were mostly dead by the time I was born.

      I don’t want to sacrifice semi-autos to try, probably in futility, to save machine guns.

      1. Are there polls to back this up? Last time there was a poll mentioning fully-automatic firearms they couldn’t even get a plurality to support a ban on them.

  13. The differences are almost the same as saying cars with a manual transmission are okay but a new fangled automatic transmission are not. There isn’t going to be much of a choice in risking semi autos.There are almost no differences between the AR15 and M16. Either the M16 ban argument holds water for functionally equivalent AR15s, or it isn’t a constitutional ban at all. We do not get to have it both ways. Neither do the banners. The rifle’s futures are, for better or for worse, entwined.

  14. Pingback: SayUncle » In CO
  15. . If, as Heller implies, the M-16 rifle can legally be prohibited without violating the Second Amendment…

    Ah, but the M-16 CANNOT be legally prohibited. You may have to look far and wide to find one for sale, pony up a large chunk of change to buy it, and jump through a bunch of bureaucratic hoops to possess it, but it can be legally owned by a law-abiding citizen. Therefore, the ban on an AR-15 is unconstitutional.

    I have more than a sneaking suspicion that the judge knows this.

    1. That’s how the law is right now. Congress could prohibit every M16 tomorrow and the Second Amendment would have nothing to say about it according to the Heller precent. Heller implied there was no right to own machine guns. That you can possess them doesn’t mean the courts view that you have a right to.

  16. Sorry y’all, but these technical discussions (thus gun looks or operates this way) are of no use, except to the enemy. They are nothing but distractions. Don’t fall for it. We have the right to keep and bear arms, period. No qualifiers. The M-16, AR-15, BAR, et al, are arms, and so we have the right to keep and bear them, no matter what some stupid, America-hating judge says. A judge can do the right thing, or a judge can disqualify and incriminate herself. Those are her two options.

  17. After having spent 25 years training law enforcement officers in the use of firearms, I can attest that officers (with few exceptions) are horribly lacking in skill with the weapons they commonly carry. The reasons for this range from lack of funding to lack of support from upper echelon administrators. Large agencies have better support and can produce a better trained officer, but for the smaller agencies it isn’t so easy. The bottom line is that most officers can’t protect themselves, let alone anyone else.

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