This week, Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado issued a decision in the NRA-supported case of Colorado Outfitters Assoc. v. Hickenlooper. The case seeks to invalidate the burdensome magazine ban and so-called "universal" background check law passed in Colorado last year. The plaintiffs in the case -- Colorado sheriffs, individuals, and associations affected by Colorado's new gun-control laws -- raised a number of challenges to these laws but primarily focused on the burdens the laws created on their right to self-defense, which is protected by the Second Amendment.
Judge Krieger followed the two-step analysis that is emerging as the common approach in federal courts for assessing a law's constitutionality under the Second Amendment. First, she considered whether the law affected conduct that was protected by the Second Amendment. She found that both the magazine ban and (possibly) the limitation on private transfers implicated constitutionally protected conduct. Next, she examined the burden that these laws placed on the plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights. Following what is becoming a disturbing trend amongst federal courts, Judge Krieger concluded the laws were not sufficiently burdensome so as to be unconstitutional.
This decision once again emphasizes the fact that courts cannot be the only protection for our Second Amendment rights. Those who value their right to keep and bear arms must additionally seek to protect it at the polls.
The Colorado sheriffs have already announced their intention to appeal Judge Krieger's decision. NRA-ILA will continue to provide updates on this important case as it heads to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.