NJ NICS data as of 
+ checks in queue
 days delayed ()
NJ NICS data as of 
+ checks in queue
 days delayed ()

Colorado House Passes “Assault Weapons” Ban

Share this story

Assault rifles

In layman’s terms: A Colorado House bill bans AR-15s, AK-47s and many similar firearms by name that are in common use.

On Sunday, April 14, Colorado’s Democratic-controlled House passed a bill that attempted to define and ban so-called “assault weapons.” The bill specifically targets AR-15s and AK-47s.

AR-15s are, by just about any objective measurement, in “common use,” with estimates of private ownership in the tens of millions. Firearms in common use for lawful purposes are protected by the Heller decision, which pre-dates the 2022 Bruen ruling. The common use doctrine was born out of the history, not the text of the Second Amendment, but is an important part of Bruen-era doctrine in looking at historical analogue of firearms ownership. 

“This unconstitutional ban on commonly owned firearms is the most anti-gun bill ever passed by the Colorado House,” said Travis Couture-Lovelady, NRA Colorado State Director in a statement. “HB24-1292’s broad definition of a so-called ‘assault weapon’ bans all semi-automatic rifles, including America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15, along with countless other rifles, pistols, and shotguns that Coloradans use for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.”

HB24-1292 defines the term “assault weapon” and prohibits a person from manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of an assault weapon. The bill further prohibits a person from possessing a rapid-fire trigger activator. A person in violation of the prohibitions will be assessed a first-time penalty of $250,000 and $500,000 for each subsequent violation.

Notably, the prohibition does not apply to a member of the United States armed forces, a peace officer, or other government officer or agent.

Every Republican who was present voted against it, along with nine Democrats who are in rural or swing districts.

As usual, the devil is in the details, and the definition of “assault weapon” in the bill covers nearly every semi-automatic rifle, including all AR-15s and AK-47s. From the bill:

(2) (a) “ASSAULT WEAPON”, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION 3 (2)(b) OF THIS SECTION, MEANS:

(I) A SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLE THAT HAS THE CAPACITY TO ACCEPT A DETACHABLE MAGAZINE, OR THAT MAY BE READILY MODIFIED TO ACCEPT A DETACHABLE MAGAZINE, AND HAS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:

(A) A PISTOL GRIP OR THUMBHOLE STOCK;

(B) ANY FEATURE CAPABLE OF FUNCTIONING AS A PROTRUDING GRIP THAT CAN BE HELD BY THE NON-TRIGGER HAND;

(C) A FOLDING, TELESCOPING, OR DETACHABLE STOCK THAT IS OTHERWISE FOLDABLE OR ADJUSTABLE IN A MANNER THAT OPERATES TO REDUCE THE LENGTH, SIZE, OR ANY OTHER DIMENSION, OR OTHERWISE ENHANCES THE ABILITY TO CONCEAL THE WEAPON;

(D) A MUZZLE BRAKE;

(E) A FUNCTIONAL GRENADE LAUNCHER OR FLARE LAUNCHER;

(F) A SHROUD ATTACHED TO THE BARREL, OR THAT PARTIALLY OR COMPLETELY ENCIRCLES THE BARREL, ALLOWING THE BEARER TO HOLD THE FIREARM WITH THE NON-TRIGGER HAND WITHOUT BEING BURNED, BUT EXCLUDING A SLIDE THAT ENCLOSES THE BARREL; OR

(G) A THREADED BARREL;

The bill goes on to name a substantial list of firearms banned by name, including semi-automatic pistols that share features in the prohibited list above (which would include AR-style pistols).

Although Democrats have a 46-19 majority in the State Senate, the bill is unlikely to pass, and Governor Jared Polis, also a Democrat, has indicated he is not supportive of such a ban. Last year, a similar bill died in committee.

Share this story

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedback
View all comments
0
Tell us what you think!x
()
x