Reporters: Time To Stop Reprinting Gun Nut Nonsense

Throughout the long debate in the Colorado General Assembly, now winding down, over gun safety legislation that became a priority after mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and elsewhere last year, we have attempted to identify and debunk objectively untruthful, or at least widly exaggerated claims made by opponents of these bills. Examples include the false contention by the National Rifle Association and GOP legislators that universal background check legislation would "prohibit the private transfer of firearms," the false suggestion by the NRA's president that his organization supported post-Columbine reforms like closing the gun show loophole (they did not)–and the most recent false but widely-disseminated Jon Caldara allegation that "almost all guns in Colorado will never be able to get a magazine again."

Today, a major factual error in a Denver Post story about questions in the aftermath of the signing of House Bill 1224 limiting magazine capacity obliges us to clear up another significant point of misinformation. Reporter Ryan Parker, in an interview with Richard Taylor of the Aurora gun dealer The Firing Line, writes:

The interpretation of the magazine limit law includes any unit that can be converted to hold more than 15 rounds, and with almost every single magazine and clip in production today made with a removable base plate, technically allowing for extensions, Taylor said his days of selling those are in question.

Whose "interpretation?" What you see here is a summarized version of a pro-gun argument against House Bill 1224. As we have discussed in this space, the contention that House Bill 1224 could "ban all magazines" is a line that has been used to terrify gun owners into irrational opposition to these bills. This is the underlying support for Jon Caldara's claims that "almost all guns in Colorado will never be able to get a magazine again."

Everyone, especially Ryan Parker of the Denver Post, please pay attention: there is no truth to what you are claiming. You are misinforming the public, contributing to irrational public anger, and it must stop.

1224text

This is the text of House Bill 1224 as signed by Gov. Hickenlooper Wednesday. As you can plainly read, the law does not outlaw "any unit that can be converted to hold more than 15 rounds," as Parker's story says. The law applies to only magazines that are "designed to be readily converted to accept" more than 15 rounds.

The actual language of House Bill 1224, specifying that the magazine must be "designed" to be converted to hold more than 15 rounds, means that it does not matter if "almost every single magazine and clip in production today made with a removable base plate." That does not ipso facto mean they were designed to be expanded beyond 15 rounds. There is no realistic chance that the Department of Public Safety's technical guidance to law enforcement on this law, due out before it takes effect, is going to interpret this language in the way Parker suggests. If they did, we would cry foul alongside Dudley Brown–but it's not going to happen. We understand that this over-the-top claim was really great for helping churn out angry mobs at the Capitol, and for raising funds for groups like Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. We would expect that Franklin Sain, the man now up on charges for threatening HB-1224's sponsor Rep. Rhonda Fields, believed this lie too.

Folks, it's time for these lies to stop. And it is definitely time for journalists to stop repeating them.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Guys, this is why Chuck Plunkett is in charge over there. Remember Parker's colonoscopy of Evie Hudak while letting Republicans say whatever bullshit they want? Greg Moore practically giving the NRA president a handjob?

    The Denver Post is a house of hacks.

  2. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    You are missing the point. I do hope that Pols is right, and the removable faceplate doesn't mean mags are automatically banned. If the magazine has a factory extension it's banned, that's my read. But the point is, an arbitrary limit on ammunition for LEGAL guns in the hands of LEGAL citizens is a violation of the 2nd Amendment. The Supreme Court has not ruled on magazine bans, and at the very least, the state is now headed for an expensive lawsuit over a bill that will not reduce violent crime.

    Also, if Democrats didn't want to scare gun owners, they should have written the bill better rather than relying on experts to define things they don't understand. The lack of knowledge about guns was a huge embarrassment, and thousands of new single issue voters are coming to turn you out of office in 2014.

    • roccoprahn says:

      On the other hand, you goonies are one demographic that scares pretty easy anyway.

      It really doesn't matter how any bill will be written if it has anything to do with firearms.

      Period.

      No bill on gun safety, however crafted, will be met by anything other than absolute scorn, at any time and under any circumstances by a crowd that thinks organizations like the NRA and RMGO are lobbying for anything other than maximum profits for their clients……..the Firearms industry.

      It's done. Deal with it.

       

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        The point is, the confusion and worry about the law is because it was poorly written. If Democrats had written it right, there would be no confusion about "readily converted" or anything else. I suggest Democrats clarify what the bill will do rather than sending in the attack dogs like Colorado Pols to distract from the real issue.

        • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

          If that was true, there wouldn't be legal opinions out there are say otherwise. But there are, Magpul's own attorney said the law COULD be interpreted to ban all magazines. Like I said, I hope that doesn't happen, but it's Democrats fault there is so much confusion. They didn't understand guns well enough to write a bill about them, plain and simple.

    • BlueCat says:

      No you are missing the point.  You have the right to state your concerns as concerns but not the right to state your speculations as facts. When you state something as fact that is either false or mere speculation  and not established fact, you are stating a lie.  These aren't statements about fears of what might happen or possibilities They are lies. Period.

      Your side lies, ArapG.  Constantly.  Obviously your side must feel that it can only win its case by lying.  On that, I agree with you completely.

    • ajb says:

      Question for Arap: Why are ALL guns not legal? 

  3. MADCO says:

    …violation of the 2nd Amendment.

     

    No it's not. Please stop MSU.

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