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DU Law Professor To Help Lawsuit Against New Gun Control Laws

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CBS4's Howard Nathan talks with DU Law Professor David Kopel (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Howard Nathan talks with DU Law Professor David Kopel (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – The biggest change to U.S. gun laws in decades will return to the Senate floor. The proposal would expand background checks and crack down on gun trafficking.

The bill is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, but its fate isn’t as clear in the House where Republicans have the majority.

A rally at a Denver church was held on Saturday where the push is on for federal gun control. The theme for gun control advocates was, “We have not forgotten,” as in, “We have not forgotten the tragedy in Newtown or Aurora.” At the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday shoes without people will carry that message, just like it did Saturday at the church.

Shoes, representing lives lost to gun violence, were displayed near speakers for gun control.

“Background checks for private sales. Why would someone be against background checks?” said Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

According to David Kopel, a constitutional law professor at the University of Denver, background checks violate the U.S. Constitution. He argues the new Colorado laws for background checks is poorly written, which means people who want guns for lawful purposes can’t have them.

“It applies to completely innocent transfers of firearms under temporary basis, such as a Boy Scout leader supervising Boy Scouts while they practice firearms safety,” Kopel said.

Fields argues background checks in Colorado keep guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers.

“If we can save another child’s life, another person’s life, then I think that’s the right thing to do,” Fields said.

Fields has championed Colorado’s new law limiting rounds in magazines to 15. But Kopel, who will be representing Colorado sheriffs in a lawsuit against the new laws, says the Supreme Court objects to outlawing accessories used by law abiding people.

“Magazines for a handgun of say 16 or 17 rounds are very common, lots of regular citizens own them and lots of police officers and sheriffs deputies own them,” Kopel said. “And all for the same reason, because they’re a very good choice for lawful self-defense when you’re attacked by several criminals are once.”

Meanwhile, Hunters Against Gun Violence favors gun control.

“We’re not going to end gun violence, but we’ve got to start taking some reasonable steps to do that now,” Don Macalady with Hunters against Gun Violence said.

The lawsuit against Colorado’s new gun laws will be filed in a few weeks. At the same time, gun control advocates are saying they will never back down.

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