Now that HB 1224 has been amended and passed by both houses of the Colorado legislature, a line in the bill that would effectively ban all magazines with a removable floorplate is finally being noticed. And the bill’s primary sponsor Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) is not only not concerned about that but fully supports the broad interpretation of the law.
The relevant passage from the definitions section of the engrossed version of HB 1224 in defining what constitutes a “large capacity magazine” reads:
(I) A FIXED OR DETACHABLE MAGAZINE, BOX, DRUM, FEED STRIP, OR SIMILAR DEVICE CAPABLE OF ACCEPTING, OR THAT IS DESIGNED TO BE READILY CONVERTED TO ACCEPT, MORE THAN FIFTEEN ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION
Say, for example, that you had a standard Glock 19 magazine that hold 15 rounds. You think that it is legal if this law is signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and could be readily transferred. However, you can put a Pearce Grip magazine extension on it which adds two more rounds. That 15 round magazine was just readily converted to a 17 round magazine and is illegal under the law as written.
Denver’s 9 News investigated and concluded the above example is a correct interpretation of the law. Moreover, when they interviewed Rep. Fields, she agreed. She also suggested that people could either get existing non-convertible 10 round magazines or that manufacturers would make 15 round magazines for sale in Colorado. She lives in a dreamland if you believes the latter.
Michael Bane has an extended discussion of this in this week’s DownRange Radio podcast. You can listen to it here. It explains why he is setting up a gun trust to protect himself.
Under Colorado law, Gov. Hickenlooper has two weeks to veto the bill. His veto must be an affirmative act – just refusing to sign the bill will let it go into effect.
You still have time to contact Hickenlooper using this link. He portrays himself as pro-business and now it is time for him to put up or shut up.