DENVER – As a proposed ban on firearm magazines approved last week by the legislature inched closer to becoming law, Magpul Industries Corp. sent a detailed letter to Governor Hickenlooper asking him to veto the bill.
The proposed ban, House Bill 1224, would bar the sale or transfer of magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition as well as those which hold fewer rounds, but are “designed to be readily converted” to hold more than 15.
Concern has erupted in recent weeks over the “readily converted” language, which some say covers almost any removable firearm magazine, and could result in an outright ban on some firearms with internal magazines.
“The bill defines restricted magazines as any that that are ‘designed to be readily converted’ to accept more than fifteen rounds,” wrote Magpul’s attorney Jonathan Anderson, a partner at the law firm of Holland & Hart, in the letter to Hickenlooper. “The simple fact is that virtually every magazine on the market has an open floor plate, and that design makes every magazine readily convertible.”
The Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara also drew attention to concerns about the bill on Wednesday, releasing a one-minute video in which the think tank president demonstrates how easily the capacity of a standard 15-round magazine can be increased using an extender.
Anderson’s letter on behalf of Magpul suggests that the bill would have far-reaching consequences that could actually make several firearm models with internal magazines illegal.
“[The bill] makes it illegal to purchase, inherit, or even possess existing firearms that have an internal ammunition source over 15 rounds other than .22 caliber or lever action firearms. This includes several popular firearm models, such as the Taurus 45 bolt action rifle … and the SKS line of rifles,” Anderson wrote. “If HB 1224 is signed into law, individuals who possess this type of firearm after July 1, 2013 would be guilty of a criminal offense.”
The letter also notes the legislation contains no allowances for historic guns, or those which may be family heirlooms.
“Unlike similar laws in other states, HB 1224 does not contain an antique or vintage firearm exemption, so all firearms of this type are prohibited,” the analysis continues. “This means that a Colorado citizen cannot even pass this type of weapon down to his son or daughter, even if it is an antique or vintage firearm.”
Hickenlooper indicated in late February that he would sign HB 1224, but some gun rights backers are hoping that recent uproar over the bill’s unintended consequences will give the governor reason to reconsider.
Magpul Dynamics director Duane Liptak Jr. reiterated calls for Hickenlooper to reject the bill during a Friday appearance on KOA-AM’s “The Mike Rosen Show.”
“We just want to get the word out for everybody in Colorado to continue to contact Gov. Hickenlooper, be civil in your commentary, but urge him to veto HB 1224 and everything else that may be in front of him to keep Colorado free and maintain the individual rights of Coloradans,” Liptak said.