Colorado Sheriffs Seek to Block Implementation of New Gun Control Laws

All but 10 of Colorado's 64 elected county sheriffs have signed onto a lawsuit filed on May 17 in U.S. District Court in Denver challenging the Constitutionality and practicality of new state laws mandating universal background checks for private firearms transactions and limiting magazine capacities to 15 rounds.

The two laws, set to go into effect on June 1, were approved Colorado's Democratic-controlled state Legislature earlier this year. The lawsuit seeks to delay implementation of the laws pending review of the sheriffs' concerns.

In their complaint, the sheriffs claim the new laws "severely restrict citizens' constitutional right to own and bear arms," is "practically impossible" to enforce, and will require manpower and money they just don't have.

Colorado sheriffs "cannot expend these resources to conduct investigations that would be necessary to monitor compliance" with the laws, the lawsuit said.

Joining the sheriffs in the lawsuit are several gun-rights organizations and a disabled gun owners group, who say that magazine limits would restrict their ability to defend themselves in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars discrimination against the disabled.

In addition, the Basic Freedom Defense Fund, a Colorado-based gun rights advocacy group, said on May 20 that it was circulating a petition to recall the president of the state Senate, Democrat John Morse, because of his support for gun control measures.

The National Rifle Association has also announced plans to challenge new gun control laws adopted in Colorado, Connecticut and New York in the wake of December's Newtown shootings.