Colorado Gun Case             "

Jim Beicker, Sheriff of Fremont County, et al. v. John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado and Colorado Outfitters Association, et al. v. John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado.

Tenth Circuit decision, and the next steps.

On March 22, 2016, the Tenth Circuit vacated the opinion of the District Court. Because of the Tenth Circuit’s decision, the District Court’s decision saying that the anti-gun laws were constitutional is now void. The Tenth Circuit held that none of the plaintiffs in the case had legal “standing,” so the courts did not have jurisdiction to decide the case. Because of the Tenth Circuit decision, the plaintiffs—and, potentially, new plaintiffs—can initiate a new case, following the procedural instructions from the Tenth Circuit. The plaintiffs’ attorneys are already at work, analyzing the structure for the new case. At a press conference, Sheriffs Justin Smith (Larimer County) and Mike McIntosh (Adams County) expressed the Sheriffs’ strong intent to continue fighting to defend the safety and the constitutional rights of the people of Colorado.

Tenth Circuit Decision

Press Conference. Sheriff Smith, Sheriff McIntosh, David Kopel.

Motion to Strike

Governor's motion to strike

Plaintiffs' response, and motion in the alternative

Governor's reply and response

Plaintiffs' response

Appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

Colorado Sheriffs Move Forward With Challenge Of State Gun Laws. CBS4Denver. Sept. 28, 2015.

Reply brief of appellants Sheriffs and David Strumillo. May 29, 2015.

Reply brief of appellants nonprofit organizations, disabled firearms owners and firearms manufacturers and dealers. May 29, 2015. Attachment A: Maps. Attachment B: CBI background data.

Brief of amicus curiae Everytown for Gun Safety in support of defendant-appellee and affirmance. Apr. 29, 2015.

Brief of amicus curiae Brady Center to prevent gun violence in support of appellee. Apr. 29, 2015.

Brief for amici curiae Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Apr. 29, 2015.

Brief for the states of New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington and the District of Columbia as amici curiae in support of appellee. Apr. 29, 2015.

Defendant-appellee's answer brief. Apr. 22, 2015.

Opening briefs of appellants nonprofit organizations, disabled firearms owners and firearms manufacturers and dealers. Jan. 16, 2015.

Opening brief of sheriffs and David Strumillo. Jan. 16, 2015.

Amicus brief for the Congress of Racial Equality, Pink Pistols, Women Against Gun Control, Disabled Sportsmen of North America, and Second Amendment Sisters in support of plaintiffs-appellants. Jan. 23, 2015.

Brief of amici curiae states of Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Carolina, Wyoming. Jan. 27, 2015.

Brief amicus curiae of Western States Sheriffs' Association, et al., in support of plaintiffs-appellants and in support of reversal. Jan. 23, 2015.

Amicus brief for National Rifle Association of America, Inc. in support of paintiffs-appellants and reversal. Jan. 23, 2015.

Brief of state firearm rights organizations as amici curiae in support of appellants.

Colorado Outfitters Assoc., et al. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals docketing statement. Aug. 12, 2014.

Sheriff Jim Beicker, et al. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals corrected docketing statement. Aug. 12, 2014.

Plaintiff sheriffs notice of appeal. July 28, 2014.

Plaintiffs' amended notice of appeal. July 28, 2014.

Statement of Sheriff Cooke on behalf of the Sheriffs:

June 26, 2014
While we respect the Judge’s ruling today, we believe that it is plainly wrong on the law and on the facts. We will take this case to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and if necessary, to the United States Supreme Court. Otis McDonald, Dick Heller, and other Second Amendment plaintiffs didn’t win their first rounds in the district court. They did win at the end of their appeals. We are ready to present our case to the higher court that will make the final decision. Two weeks ago, John Hickenlooper truthfully told the Sheriffs that he knows the magazine ban won’t do any good. We presented extensive evidence to the Court showing that he was right.

Two weeks ago, John Hickenlooper truthfully told the Sheriffs “we really screwed up” the background check bill. He was right. At trial, we presented the evidence showing that Governor and the legislature expected and budgeted for 200,000 additional checks on private sales every year. Instead, the number of checks on private sales has declined, because the onerous gun registration scheme in House Bill 1229 is so unworkable. The district court refused to consider this evidence, and we believe that refusal was wrong as a matter of law.

Reducing, rather than increasing, the number background checks. Disarming retired Sheriffs, deputies, and other law-abiding citizens of the magazines they need for self-defense, while accomplishing absolutely nothing for public safety. John Hickenlooper knows that the Bloomberg anti-gun laws are a failure. As Sheriffs, every day we fight to protect the safety and the rights of the law-abiding citizens of Colorado. We will continue the fight, and we look forward to presenting our case to the higher court.

Case titles in trial court: Filed as John Cooke, Sheriff of Weld County, et al. versus John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado.
Civil Action No. 13-Cv-1300-MSK-MJW. From Dec. 2013 onward, Colorado Outfitters Association et al. v. John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado.

District Court opinion. June 26, 2014.

Trial transcripts:

Day 1: March 31, 2014.

Day 2: April 1, 2014.

Day 3: April 2, 2014.

Day 4: April 3, 2014.

Day 5: April 4, 2014.

Day 6: April 7, 2014.

Day 7: April 8, 2014.

Day 8: April 9, 2014.

Day 9: April 10, 2014.

Other transcripts:

Motion for preliminary injunction: July 10, 2013.

Law and motion hearing: December 19, 2013.

Final pretrial hearing: February 20, 2014.

Daily trial coverage via Courthouse News Service

Closing arguments. Apr. 11, 2014.

Expert witnesses at odds. Apr. 10, 2014.

Graphic testimony. Apr. 9, 2014.

Gun control expert challenged. Apr. 8, 2014.

Data questioned. Apr. 6, 2014.

Retired cop sees no need for civilians to have giant magazines. Apr. 4, 2014.

Coloradans fight gun-control laws. Apr. 3, 2014.

Final Pretrial

Plaintiffs' trial brief. March 14, 2014.

Governor's trial brief. March, 14, 2014.

Governor's motion to dismiss count 1 and certain plaintiffs for lack of standing. March 7, 2014.

Plaintiffs' response to defendant's motion to dismiss count 1 and certain plaintiffs for lack of standing. March 14, 2014.

Proposed final pretrial order. February 19, 2014.

Previous Court Filings

United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Complaint & Answer

Plaintiff's complaint. May 17, 2013.

First amended complaint. May 31, 2013.

Governor's answer. June 7, 2013.

Governor's Motion for Certification and proposed order of Questions to the Colorado Supreme Court. June 10, 2013.

Plaintiffs' second amended complaint. July 1, 2013.

Governor's answer to the Second Amended complaint. Aug. 1, 2013.

Sheriff's motion for joinder and for leave to file third amended complaint. Dec. 11, 2013.

Proposed third amended complaint. Dec. 11, 2013.

Judge Krieger's Minute Order. Dec. 19, 2013.

Fourth amended complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. Dec. 23, 2013.

Answer and objections to fourth amended complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. Jan. 3, 2014.

Preliminary Injunction

Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and a Temporary Restraining Order. June 12, 2013.

Plaintffs' Response to Motion for Certification of Questions. June 14, 2013.

Supplemental brief regarding plaintiff's standing and other issues raised by the Court. June 20, 2013.

Governor's reply in support of motion to certify questions to the Colorado Supreme Court. June 21, 2013.

Governor's brief in opposition to plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. June 24, 2013.

Plaintiffs' reply in support of motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. June 27, 2013.

AG's statement on withdrawal of motion of preliminary injunction. July 10, 2013.

Press release for first major success in lawsuit. July 10, 2013.

Timeline of success.

Motion to Dismiss

Governor's motion to dismiss. Aug. 1, 2013.

Fifty-five Colorado sheriffs' response brief to defendant's motion to dismiss them in their official capacities. Aug. 22, 2013.

Plaintiffs' response to defendant's motion to dismiss. Aug. 22, 2013.

Reply in support of motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claims two, three, and four, and to dismiss sheriffs as plaintiffs acting in their official capacity. Sept. 5, 2013.

Opinion and order granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion to dismiss. Nov. 27, 2013.

Plaintiffs' unopposed motion to alter or amend order (#96) on motion to dismiss. Dec. 9, 2013.

Motion for Protective Order against Deposition of the Defendant

Motion for protective order. Sept. 25, 2013.

Plaintiffs' response to defendant's motion for protective order. Oct. 4, 2013.

Reply in support of motion for protective order. Oct. 8, 2013.

Order regarding defendant Hickenlooper's motion for protective order. Oct. 28, 2013.

The Bills Enacted by the Legislature

House Bill 1224. Magazine ban.

Legislative transcripts - HB13-1224:

Feb. 12, 2013 Feb. 15, 2013 Feb. 18, 2013 Mar. 4, 2013
Mar. 8, 2013 Mar. 11, 2013 Mar. 13, 2013  

House Bill 1229. Background checks and registration process for temporary transfers and for private sales.

Legislative transcripts: HB13-1229

Feb. 12, 2013 Feb. 14, 2013 Feb. 15, 2013 Feb. 18, 2013
Mar. 4, 2013 Mar. 8, 2013 Mar. 11, 2013 Mar. 13, 2013
Mar. 14, 2013 Mar. 15, 2013 Mar. 15, 2013 (Senate)  

Attorney General's Technical Guidance on interpretation of HB 1224.

Attorney General's additional technical guidance on the interpretation, application of HB 1224.

Articles by the Sheriffs

The difference between sheriffs and police chiefs. By John B. Cooke. Denver Post. June 14, 2013.

Sentinel way off track in attacking sheriffs for following and upholding the law. By Doug Darr. Aurora Sentinel. June 13, 2013.

Sheriff Wiggins: Why I joined the lawsuit. By Garrett Wiggins. Steamboat Pilot. May 17, 2013.


County Resolutions in Support of 2nd Amendment

El Paso County

Weld County

Delta County

Montrose County

Mesa County

Moffat County

Montezuma County

Garfield County


Other Materials

Export report of Michael Shain on magazine design.

CBI monthly data on private checks

Independence Institute: First major success in challenging anti-gun bills

9News report on anti-gun bill's failures

Photo slideshow of Colorado and the Second Amendment events across the state

Press Conference for filing of case


The Plaintiffs

John B. Cooke, Sheriff Of Weld County, Colorado;

Terry Maketa, Sheriff Of El Paso County, Colorado;

Justin Smith, Sheriff Of Larimer County, Colorado;

David A. Weaver, Sheriff Of Douglas County, Colorado;

Bruce W. Hartman, Sheriff Of Gilpin County, Colorado;

Ken Putnam, Sheriff Of Cheyenne County, Colorado;

Dennis Spruell, Sheriff Of Montezuma County, Colorado;

Tim Jantz, Sheriff Of Moffat County, Colorado;

Jerry Martin, Sheriff Of Dolores County, Colorado;

Mike Ensminger, Sheriff Of Teller County, Colorado;

Shayne Heap, Sheriff Of Elbert County, Colorado;

Chad Day, Sheriff Of Yuma County, Colorado;

Fred D. Mckee, Sheriff Of Delta County, Colorado;

Lou Vallario, Sheriff Of Garfield County, Colorado;

Fred Hosselkus, Sheriff Of Mineral County, Colorado;

Brett L. Powell, Sheriff Of Logan County, Colorado;

James Faull, Sheriff Of Prowers County, Colorado;

Larry Kuntz, Sheriff Of Washington County, Colorado;

Brian E. Norton, Sheriff Of Rio Grande County, Colorado;

Duke Schirard, Sheriff Of La Plata County, Colorado;

Jim Beicker, Sheriff Of Fremont County, Colorado;

Ronald Bruce, Sheriff Of Hinsdale County, Colorado;

Chris S. Johnson, Sheriff Of Otero County, Colorado;

Fred Jobe, Sheriff Of Custer County, Colorado;

Donald Krueger, Sheriff Of Clear Creek County, Colorado;

James Crone, Sheriff Of Morgan County, Colorado;

Si Woodruff, Sheriff Of Rio Blanco County, Colorado;

Tom Ridnour, Sheriff Of Kit Carson County, Colorado;

Tom Nestor, Sheriff Of Lincoln County, Colorado;

Stan Hilkey, Sheriff Of Mesa County, Colorado;

Forrest Frazee, Sheriff Of Kiowa County, Colorado;

Rick Dunlap, Sheriff Of Montrose County, Colorado;

Ted B. Mink, Sheriff Of Jefferson County, Colorado;

Dave Stong, Sheriff Of Alamosa County, Colorado;

Fred Wegener, Sheriff Of Park County, Colorado;

Bruce Newman, Sheriff Of Huerfano County, Colorado;

Randy Peck, Sheriff Of Sedgwick County, Colorado;

Dominic Mattivi, Jr., Sheriff Of Ouray County, Colorado;

John Minor, Sheriff Of Summit County, Colorado;

Scott Fischer, Sheriff Of Jackson County, Colorado;

Peter Gonzalez, Sheriff Of Archuleta County, Colorado;

Rick Besecker, Sheriff Of Gunnison County, Colorado;

Charles “Rob” Urbach , Sheriff Of Phillips County, Colorado;

Rod Fenske, Sheriff Of Lake County, Colorado;

Grayson Robinson, Sheriff Of Arapahoe County, Colorado;

David D. Campbell, Sheriff Of Baca County, Colorado;

Mike Norris, Sheriff Of Saguache County, Colorado;

Amos Medina, Sheriff Of Costilla County, Colorado;

Miles Clark, Sheriff Of Crowley County, Colorado;

David Encinias, Sheriff Of Bent County, Colorado;

Sue Kurtz, Sheriff Of San Juan County, Colorado;

James (Jim) Casias, Sheriff Of Las Animas County, Colorado;

Garrett Wiggins, Sheriff Of Routt County, Colorado;

Douglas N. Darr, Sheriff Of Adams County, Colorado;

Rodney Johnson, Sheriff Of Grand County, Colorado;

Colorado Outfitters Association;

Colorado Farm Bureau;

National Shooting Sports Foundation;

Magpul Industries;

Colorado Youth Outdoors;

USA Liberty Arms;

Outdoor Buddies, Inc.;

Women For Concealed Carry;

Colorado State Shooting Association;

Hamilton Family Enterprises, Inc., D/B/A Family Shooting Center At Cherry Creek State Park;

David Strumillo;

David Bayne;

Dylan Harrell;

Rocky Mountain Shooters Supply;

2nd Amendment Gunsmith & Shooter Supply, LLC;

Burrud Arms Inc. D/B/A Jensen Arms;

Green Mountain Guns;

Jerry’s Outdoor Sports;

Grand Prix Guns;

Specialty Sports & Supply;

Goods For The Woods.