Colorado shooting match canceled over new gun laws

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. – A regional shooting competition that would have brought hundreds of people to Colorado has become the latest casualty of the state’s new gun laws set to kick in just a few days before the competition.

Members of the International Defensive Pistol Association had planned a regional championship beginning July 4 at the San Juan Shooting Range in Montrose. Organizers said about 300 were planning to attend.

Pistol association event coordinator Walt Proulx told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel ( ) that impending limitations on magazine capacity would be the biggest problem. A new state law bans ownership of any magazine with more than 15 rounds manufactured or purchased after July 1.

“If somebody were planning to come to the event, and for some reason needed to get new magazines for their (guns) and they bought them on July 2 and hopped on an airplane and came here, they would technically be in violation as soon as they touched the ground,” Proulx said.

The association’s regional competition was the second event to be publicly canceled due to Colorado’s new gun laws. Firearms maker Ruger recently announced they would move the planned 2013 Ruger Rimfire Challenge World Championships out of the state.

Proulx raised issue with a new law requiring background checks for private gun transfers. However, that law specifically exempts shooting competitions.

The group did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

The state Attorney General’s Office said it is reviewing the legal ramifications of the new laws.

Proulx admitted that some people might see the cancellation as more of a political statement, but he insisted that for him, it was a practical matter.

Some hunters have said they are boycotting Colorado.

Northwest Colorado hunting guide Chris Jurney said there have been cancellations and he expects more. Out-of-state hunters accounted for 15 percent of hunting licenses last year, with 86,000 compared with 489,000 for residents.

State tourism officials say they expect minimal impact because of the state’s easy licensing program.