Colorado Citizens Seek to Nullify Unconstitutional Gun Control Laws
by Joshua Cook - August 22, 2013
The nullification movement is sweeping across the nation and people are fighting for their Constitutional rights. Nowhere is this truer than in Colorado. After the controversial redistricting led to Democrats taking over both the State House and Senate in November 2012, an extreme liberal agenda was pushed at unprecedented speeds.
This included gun control, with laws such as universal background checks, which Ted Cruz has called a “pathway to a national gun registry.” In addition, concealed carry training must now be done face-to-face rather than online, and anyone who has even been accused of domestic violence or is under a restraining order is now banned from using guns, whether guilty or not.
Unable to affect the outcome of traditional legislative battles, conservatives and liberty activists statewide started to look to alternative solutions. While Weld County spearheaded a surprisingly popular initiative to split from Colorado, the first two recall elections in the state’s history were organized against Democrat Senators John Morse and Angela Giron.
Even on the small scale, citizens are taking actions to try to make a difference. One of these is “Put it to the People,” founded by Tim LeVier and JT Davis. This organization is circulating petitions to get a Constitutional Amendment on next fall’s ballot. The amendment is intended to nullify one of the many gun control laws passed in the State Legislature in 2013.
House Bill 13-1224 limits the capacity of gun magazines to 15 rounds. It also bans all magazines which are “readily convertible” to hold more than 15 rounds – such as any magazine with a detachable floor plate – meaning that nearly all magazines would be. The bill also requires “continuous possession” of the magazines, meaning that selling, borrowing, giving or bequeathing such magazines is illegal.
A youtube video demonstrates how this law essentially includes most if not all magazines that are made in the U.S.
(see link for video)
The same law prompted a lawsuit by most of the state’s sheriffs. In response, Colorado-based magazine manufacturer Magpul also left the state, but not before it had organized a “Colorado Airlift,” in which it distributed thousands of high capacity magazines to Colorado residents in the months before the ban went into effect, meaning that those magazines would be grandfathered in.
LeVier and Davis’ proposed amendment reads “No law, except a law enacted by a vote of the people, shall restrict or limit the right of the people to purchase or possess ammunition storage and feeding devices of any capacity.”
The proposed initiative is a constitutional amendment because this would prevent the state legislature from simply re-passing the bill. Both the U.S. Constitution and Colorado’s State Constitution contain stronger pro-gun rights language, though.
In addition to the Second Amendment, which reads that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” Colorado Constitution Article II Section 14 reads “that the right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herin contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.”
Approached as a short-term solution to the problem, Put it to the People makes sense. It would repeal one of the multiple heinous gun control laws passed in 2013 – though perhaps not the worst – and make it somewhat more difficult for such laws to pass in the future. Instead of simply repealing the ban, the amendment contains some safeguards for the future. With the rapid influx of people changing Colorado’s political landscape, though, this is unlikely to remain a deterrent to further legislation.
States throughout the nation are passing legislation that nullifies federal laws like N.D.A.A, voter ID laws, and other laws that states deem unconstitutional.
Tom Wood says that the word “nullification” was introduced by Thomas Jefferson who stated that “nullification…is the rightful remedy” when the federal government reaches beyond its constitutional powers.”
Americans throughout the nation are using this legal mechanism and the principles of nullification to fight back government overreach.
One of the largest gun rights group, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), is encouraging its members and citizens to wear T-shirts that read, “I WILL NOT COMPLY,” in protest to the magazine ban.
They state on their website, “Stand in opposition to the draconian magazine ban in Colorado by sporting our “I Will Not Comply” t-shirt … this shirt lets anti-gun politicians know that you won’t forget their vote on this bill.”
This attempt to nullify the magazine ban is purely a grassroots initiative. From pro-gun groups like RMGO and two working fathers Tim LeVier and JT Davis in a Denver suburb, the movement is picking up support from people who care about their Constitutional rights.
To get on the ballot, the initiative needs 100,000 signatures by December 9th. About 15% of those needed have already been collected as of this publication. See their website here.
One thing is clear, the nullification movement is alive and well in America today. And the 2nd Amendment is not something Americans are willing to give up without a fight. Colorado is going to have a hard time enforcing this ban if the People of the state feel differently.