When the Democratic-controlled Colorado State House last week passed a ban on the sale of magazines that carry more than 15 rounds of ammunition, Longmont resident Savant Suykerbuyk set to work on "Operation Mountain Standard."
The operation -- a project that will take place March 16 at Boulder Gunsport -- will involve exchanging gun magazines for donations to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Colorado's largest in-state gun lobby. The purpose, according to organizers, is to flood Colorado with "high-capacity" magazines before a potential ban hits.
Suykerbuyk and volunteers are soliciting magazine donations, primarily high-capacity magazines, from out of state to supply the fundraiser. A $10 contribution at the event earns donors 21 and older a handgun magazine, and donations of $20 will earn donors 18 and older a rifle magazine, with a limit of two magazines per donor.
Gunsport is only providing the venue, and its staff will not be involved in the event, organizers say.
Suykerbuyk, 25, a Marine Corps veteran, said the idea originated on a Reddit.com guns forum and he decided to take it up after talking to other Second Amendment advocates.
While the magazine ban must pass through the Colorado Senate and be signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to become law, Operation Mountain Standard is looking to be ahead of the curve.
"We recognize that the current Colorado legislative body is most likely going to pass what we feel are constitutionally infringing laws soon," Suykerbuyk said. "We want to get as many of these magazines that will be banned into Colorado gun owners' hands as possible, thereby grandfathering them if/when such a ban is enacted."
Suykerbuyk has a concealed carry permit for a Glock 19 9mm pistol, which has a standard 15-round magazine. There are magazines for the gun that can carry as many as 33 rounds, he said. He also owns an AR-15 rifle that comes standard with a 30-round magazine but could be equipped with a 100-round magazine.
While he strongly opposes the magazine ban, and a concealed weapons ban for college campuses, Suykerbuyk said he supports a fee on gun buyers to pay for background checks, so long as it is reasonable, and universal background checks on gun sales, provided a national gun-owner registry is not established.
"I am very proud that people on all sides of the issue are trying to do whatever they can to make us safer. I don't support laws, however, that I feel are only hurting freedoms without actually protecting anyone," he said.
Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, sponsor of the bill that would ban concealed weapons on college campuses, did not directly respond to a request for comment on Operation Mountain Standard. Dean Toda, a spokesman for the Colorado House Democrats, said he spoke with Levy about it Wednesday and noted she did not want to help publicize the event, which he characterized as irresponsible.
"We've been trying to have a civil, reasonable debate down here on guns," Toda said. "This is not part of that. This is a publicity stunt by someone who is trying to drive money to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners."
State Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, said Wednesday he did not have an opinion about the event. Heath is Senate sponsor for Levy's bill as well as the bill that would require payment for background checks during gun transfers. Both of those bills will be reviewed in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on Monday afternoon, at the same time the magazine ban bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Suykerbuyk said that, so far, he has received just one shipment of donated magazines, sent to him from Pennsylvania.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: "Operation Mountain Standard" magazine giveaway
When: 9 a.m. March 16
Where: Boulder Gunsport, 1707 14th St., Boulder
For more info.: coloradomagazines.com or facebook.com ___