BRIGGSDALE -- Amid bursts of near and distant gunfire, Ray Sanchez looked down his rangefinder and told the man lying prone with his rifle the bad news: "No joy."
Sanchez was giving pointers on long-range shooting Saturday at the Pawnee Sportsmens Center, 40914 Weld County Road 71, as part of the Colorado Freedom Shoot. The event, which was sponsored by the shooting range, was dubbed the final opportunity to shoot high-capacity magazines in the state of Colorado before a ban on 15-round clips goes into effect on Monday.
Sharing the views of most, if not all, of the event's attendees, Sanchez said he doubts the law will do much good.
"There's already laws against killing people. There's already laws against shooting people. But people go and do it anyway," Sanchez said. "So if someone is willing to go and do something like that, what's it take to bring in a magazine from another state that is more than 15 rounds, or whatever arbitrary number they picked?"
Sanchez works for Thunder Beast Arms Corp., which manufactures sound suppressors for tactical, sporting and competition use. He said businesses and the state have already been harmed by the law, and he foresees more pain.
"It's already cost the state $100 million in revenue, and it's going to cost more," he said. "Companies have already left -- big companies -- and more companies are talking about leaving if it doesn't get overturned. So if that's what they want -- turning into California, into a welfare state -- we'll see what happens when the free-minded, business owners and entrepreneurial types leave."
But Sanchez said he isn't just worried about the monetary costs. He said the law is a governmental overreach.
"I'm a pretty hard-core Libertarian, so I think the Democrats that we have in office now are probably the worst we've had in a long time," he said. "Not that (George W.) Bush, the predecessor, was much better. But I think (President Barack) Obama is noticeably worse as far as freedom and liberty in this country."
Eric Brown, spokesman for Gov. John Hickenlooper, said the state's "measured approach" to changing the laws, including greater mental health services, will help prevent gun violence.
"Some may see that as the wrong thing to do politically," Brown told The Denver Post in a story about a shooting event in Glendale. "We saw it as the right thing to do."
A preliminary injunction hearing for parts of the law banning high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds -- including the "readily converted" language, which could apply to removable base plates -- is set for July 10.
Sanchez and others are following the process closely, and he said he's hopeful the law will be overturned.
"People don't want to hear it, but not everyone isn't nice and there are problems in the world," he said. "The best way to stop incoming fire is accurate outgoing fire. It's that simple. Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens isn't going to change anything." ___
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1981: The Attempted Assassination Of President Ronald Reagan
on March 30, 1981, President Reagan and three others were shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan's press secretary, Jim Brady, was shot in the head.
1993: The Brady Handgun Violence Act
The Brady Handgun Violence Act of 1993, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, mandated that federally licensed dealers complete comprehensive background checks on individuals before selling them a gun. The legislation was named for James Brady, who was shot during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
1994: The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, instituted a ban on 19 kinds of assault weapons, including Uzis and AK-47s. The crime bill also banned the possession of magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. (An exemption was made for weapons and magazines manufactured prior to the ban.)
2004: Law Banning Magazines Holding More Than Ten Rounds Of Ammunition Expires
In 2004, ten years after it first became law, Congress allowed a provision banning possession of magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition to expire through a sunset provision. Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke told HuffPost that the expiration of this provision meant that Rep. Gabby Giffords's alleged shooter was able to fire off 20-plus shots without reloading (under the former law he would have had only ten).
2007: The U.S. Court of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Rules In Favor Of Dick Heller
In 2007 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled to allow Dick Heller, a licensed District police officer, to keep a handgun in his home in Washington, D.C. Following that ruling, the defendants petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
2008: The NICS Improvement Amendments Act
Following the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech University, Congress passed legislation to require states provide data on mentally unsound individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, with the aim of halting gun purchases by the mentally ill, and others prohibited from possessing firearms. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush in January of 2008.
2008: Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Handgun Ban As Unconstitutional
In June of 2008, the United States Supreme Court upheld the verdict of a lower court ruling the D.C. handgun ban unconstitutional in the landmark case <em>District of Columbia v. Heller</em>.
Gabrielle Giffords And Trayvon Martin Shootings
Gun control advocates had high hopes that reform efforts would have increased momentum in the wake of two tragic events that rocked the nation. In January of 2011, Jared Loughner opened fire at an event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), killing six and injuring 13, including the congresswoman. Resulting attempts to push gun control legislation <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/trayvon-martin-shooting-gun-debate_n_1413115.html" target="_hplink">proved fruitless</a>, with neither proposal even succeeding in gaining a single GOP co-sponsor. More than a year after that shooting, Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/trayvon-martin" target="_hplink">gunned down</a> by George Zimmerman in an event that some believed would bring increased scrutiny on the nation's Stand Your Ground laws. While there has been increasing discussion over the nature of those statutes, lawmakers were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/trayvon-martin-shooting-gun-debate_n_1413115.html" target="_hplink">quick to concede</a> that they had little faith the event would effectively spur gun control legislation, thanks largely to the National Rifle Association's vast lobbying power. Read more <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/trayvon-martin-shooting-gun-debate_n_1413115.html" target="_hplink">here</a>:
Colorado Movie Theater Shooting
In July of 2012, a heavily armed gunman <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/aurora-shooting-movie-theater-batman_n_1688547.html" target="_hplink">opened fire on theatergoers</a> attending a midnight premiere of the final film of the latest Batman trilogy, killing 12 and wounding scores more. The suspect, James Eagan Holmes, allegedly carried out the act with a number of handguns, as well as an AR-15 assault rifle with a 100-round drum magazine. Some lawmakers used the incident, which took place in a state with some of the laxest gun control laws, to bring forth legislation designed to place increased regulations on access to such weapons, but many observers, citing previous experience, were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/batman-shooting_n_1690547.html" target="_hplink">hesitant to say</a> that they would be able to overcome the power of the National Rifle Association and Washington gun lobby.
Sikh Temple Shooting
On August 5, 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page opened fire on a Sikhs gathered at a temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killing six and wounding four more before turning the gun on himself.