Gun laws hang in the balance as trial opens
DENVER — Just when the controversy over Colorado’s new gun control laws had begun to quiet down, a lawsuit challenging them opened in federal court Monday, bringing all the same arguments — political and constitutional alike — back to the fore.
Attorneys for plaintiffs challenging the measures signed into law a year ago, which expand background checks to private gun sales and transfers and ban magazines of more than 15 rounds, argued that the new laws are “burdensome” and “unenforceable.”
Richard Westfall, arguing on behalf of gun rights groups, claimed that the laws were driven by emotion following mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown but don’t do anything to significantly improve public safety.
But the state responded by arguing that the laws do make a difference and that they stop well short of infringing on citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
The trial in Denver U.S. District Court could last 10 days. Ultimately, Judge Marcia Kreiger will decide whether the laws are constitutional.