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Denver and Boulder file amicus brief with Supreme Court supporting Colorado’s ban on large-capacity magazines

DENVER – The City and County of Denver and the City of Boulder have filed an amicus brief at the Colorado Supreme Court in support of the state’s ban on large-capacity magazines for firearms.

“In the wake of mass shooting after mass shooting, this challenge to our state’s constitutional right to make our communities safer is not only wrong, it also lacks common sense,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said Monday in support of Colorado’s law that limits magazines to no more than 15 rounds. “As we saw just last week in Dayton, Ohio, large-capacity magazines let shooters kill scores of innocent people in less than 60 seconds, and this statewide measure is a sensible and constitutional approach to addressing the impacts of gun violence.”

The Denver City Attorney’s Office explained in its brief how the Denver City Council first adopted a local ban on semi-automatic weapons in 1989, which was amended in in 2007 to prohibit magazines to no more than 21 rounds – long before the state instituted a ban in 2013. Denver updated its laws in 2018 to conform with the state statues limiting magazines to 15 rounds.

“Ample evidence has continued to prove that large-capacity magazines make gun violence incidents more dangerous and deadly. In Colorado, we learned this to be true 20 years ago in the shooting at Columbine High School,” City Attorney Kristin M. Bronson said. “Previous court decisions in this state have smartly noted that large-capacity magazines are simply not necessary, and rarely used, in self-defense.”

As noted in today’s briefs, state bans on large-capacity magazines are correlated with a 63 percent lower rate of shootings with three or more injuries, not including the shooter.