DENVER -

A federal judge upheld Colorado gun restrictions that limit the size of ammunition magazines and expand background checks on firearms sold online and between private parties.

In a ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger said both laws are constitutional and that they don't infringe on individuals' right to bear arms.
    
The judge further said that limiting magazine sizes doesn't obstruct individuals' ability to protect themselves and that the expansion of background checks "is no more severe" than the requirements already in place before the new law.
    
Democrats passed the laws last year without Republican support.
    
Gun rights advocates and county sheriffs, including El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, filed the lawsuit.

"I anticipated the ruling may go this way. Although I wish a different decision were made, this does not dissuade our effort. The team had already planned for this possibility and began preparations with the intent of filing an appeal," Maketa said.

Democrats passed the laws in response to mass shootings in 2012 at a suburban Denver movie theater and Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Two southern Colorado state senators were recalled for supporting the laws, including Democrat John Morse from Colorado Springs.

After the ruling was announced, Morse tweeted "Now that a judge has settled this law I hope we can all focus on providing Colorado with the we sought by passing them."