GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey joined 54 of Colorado’s 64 sheriffs in filing a lawsuit Friday to repeal recently passed gun control legislation limiting the size of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds and expanding background checks for gun purchases.
Hilkey said he signed the lawsuit for two main reasons. First, he felt as an elected official he had the responsibility to represent the constituents of Mesa County against the gun control laws. Second, he said some of the laws are unclear and unenforceable.
“There’s a piece in that law that almost bans guns completely, not just magazines because it talks about magazines that can be altered and almost all magazines can be altered so it sort of makes the gun illegal as well,” Hilkey said.
He said the laws, set to go into effect July 1, would not have prevented the Sandy Hook or Aurora Theater shootings, which were the alleged reason for drafting the laws originally.
“This is how our legislature often works,” Hilkey said. “They have emotional reaction to events and then they create a solution for a different problem.”
Colorado’s Attorney General’s Office is defending the state in the lawsuit, and released a statement stating it is the office’s goal to determine the legality of the legislation as quickly as possible.
Local attorney Nick Mayle, partner at Killian and Davis, said it’s unlikely the lawsuit will repeal the laws, because the State will follow the US Supreme Court’s rulings on similar cases, such as with McDonald v. Chicago (2008) and District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).
“You have to look at what’s gone on in the past,” Mayle said. “The US Supreme Court in the Heller case said and recognized that the US and the states have the ability to limit the second amendment.”