There has been much discussion in the pro-gun community over the past two weeks about whether or not Colorado State Senate President Bill Cadman should offer a late bill to move the firearms magazine limit from 15 rounds to 30 rounds, while full repeal of the limitation is pursued in a future legislative session.
Senate President Bill Cadman has the ability to introduce this bill in the remaining days of the 2015 legislative session. Senator Cadman, please introduce this bill and give us as many options as possible in choosing our self-defense.
Reasonable people can disagree on this, and they are certainly doing so. There are good people on both sides of this argument.
I am on the side saying we should pursue the increase in magazine size this year, because that is all we can get this year. Based on the makeup of the current Colorado state legislature, there is no way to get a full repeal. That bill has been offered and killed twice — one was a Senate bill and one was a House bill.
The other side of the argument says that we should never put a limit on our constitutional rights, and accepting a 30 round limit is doing just that.
While I can get my head around that argument, I don’t agree with it. We already have a limit on our constitutional rights. I want to go in the right direction while we wait for a full repeal of limits. It took Ohio years to get a full repeal of their magazine limitation. Because they have a strong state gun rights organization, the Buckeye Firearms Association, they maintained a consistent focus and got the full repeal, while accepting every small victory they could achieve along the way.
Full repeal is the end game. An all or nothing strategy leaves us with nothing.
On April 17, 2015, Dudley Brown, head of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, called in to the Mandy Connell Show on KHOW, to speak out against a bill to move the magazine size limit from 15 to 30. He said, about people who want to buy a 30 round magazine to, “Shut your pie hole and go buy one. There are many retailers who sell them right now.” Brown also said that principled conservatives would not vote for such a bill. I disagree.
While there may be civil disobedience in buying illegal magazines and Sheriffs who say they are not complying with the law, that is not a plan. The Sheriffs’ tenure is not eternal, and someone who doesn’t see things the same way may replace them.
Set politics aside for a moment and consider the life of a woman today that has just filed a restraining order against a violent ex-husband. She may have never thought about owning a firearm before but now knows that she needs to be able to defend herself. She knows deep down that a restraining order is just a piece of paper, and if she wants to live, defending her own life will be her responsibility.
Today, that woman doesn’t have the choice to buy any firearm she wishes. She might not want a 30 round magazine, but she can’t have more than 15. There are many personal and home defense guns that come standard with a 16 or 17 round magazine. What if that was the one gun she felt most comfortable with? This woman should have options for the firearm she wants and by offering and passing this legislation now, she can have more choices this year. We can get this increase through the legislature while we work on full repeal.
So, no Dudley Brown, I will not “shut my pie hole” about this.
Brown has all the guns he needs. But he wants first time gun owners, including those women who need to defend themselves today, not to have the best choices they can. This is irresponsible, and real people can get hurt by not being able to have the best choices now. Again, an all or nothing strategy will give us nothing.
It’s not about politics. It’s about the life and safety of people who need to defend themselves today.
Join me in urging Senator Bill Cadman to offer this “late bill”.
If you are interested in a more extensive dialog on the topic, Jon Caldara from the Independence Institute hosted a marathon radio show on the topic.