By James Nye
PUBLISHED: 02:18 EST, 16 December 2013 | UPDATED: 06:32 EST, 16 December 2013
All but seven of Colorado’s 62-elected sheriff’s are refusing to enforce a law they have sworn to uphold by failing to enact universal background checks and a ban on ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.
Despite failing last month in their bid to sue the state over the new firearm restrictions as unconstitutional, Sheriff’s such as John Cooke of Weld County have taken the unprecedented step to ignore the laws – calling them too vague and a violation of Second Amendment rights.
Despite their introduction in the wake of mass shootings in Newtown, and Colorado’s own massacres at Aurora and Columbine in 1999, Cooke and 55 other sheriff’s have designated the new laws ‘very low priority’.
Not enforcing: Weld County Sheriff John Cooke holds up two identical rifle magazines, one obtained legally and one obtained illegally, while making a speech to supporters of the recall election to oust Senate President John Morse in Denver
The resistance has led to growing fears of a huge backlash in the center of the nation, where gun ownership is prevalent and the Second Amendment is valued.
In May the 55 sheriff’s signed up to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new statues that were passed at a state level in Colorado.
However, U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger in Denver, told Cooke and his colleagues that they don’t have standing to proceed with the case as a group, but the legal battle is far from over.
The ruling doesn’t stop the lawsuit because 21 other plaintiffs who are suing do have standing. The court will still consider whether universal background checks and a ban on ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds are constitutional, the judge said
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