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Sheriffs and Governors Office come to some agreement on gun laws

DENVER, Colo. -  Sheriffs and representatives from the Governor's Office planned to debate Colorado's new gun laws before a judge Wednesday.  However, both sides reached an agreement through email late Tuesday night outside court.

Weld County's sheriff represents sheriffs stat-wide in their suit to repeal the state's new gun legislation. His lawyers asked for an injunction from a U.S. district judge in Denver. She didn't hand down an injunction because both sides had already resolved the issue.

Both sides met at the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in Denver for less than an hour. It was a quick visit for a case that will see a lot of courtroom time.

Sheriffs argued the writing in two sections of House Bill 1224 was vague and therefore unenforceable.

One section deals with magazines with 15 rounds or less with base plates that would allow the magazines to be altered to carry more rounds.  Sheriffs argue base plates serve other functions; they allow the magazines to be cleaned and repaired. In order to make them into a high capacity magazine, they have to be permanently altered with special equipment. These magazines will not be prohibited unless they are altered to carry more than 15 rounds.

The second problematic section deals with Coloradans who already own high capacity magazines. The bill's phrase "continuous possession" was unclear.  Sheriffs argue the magazine's owners should not literally need to have continuous physical possession of the magazine. They argue the magazine's owners should be able to temporarily lend the magazine someone else. They used the argument that an owner should be allowed to hand over a high capacity magazine to a gunsmith for repair.

Attorneys reached an agreement through email late Tuesday. The languages of the bills will be clarified.

"We have taken care of two vague and ambiguous phrases in one of the bills. Now we will be able to move forward to the substance of the trial which is the main content of the two bills," said David Kopel, who represents Weld County's sheriff in the case.

Kopel said the judge's decision offers no insight on the constitutionality of these bills. The bills' constitutionality will be debated in court later this year.


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