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Colorado Sheriffs Move Forward With Challenge Of State Gun Laws

DENVER (CBS4) - A group of sheriffs from different Colorado counties are moving forward with their fight to repeal stricter state gun laws put in place three years ago.

Those laws limit the capacity of ammunition magazines and expand background checks on gun purchases in Colorado.

Sheriffs like Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario say they are committed to fighting to protect what they say is citizens' Second Amendment rights.

Dozens of current and former sheriffs gathered in Denver on Monday along with gun rights groups at the Byron White Courthouse. Many of those individuals are named in a lawsuit which challenges Colorado's new laws.

Many of the sheriffs say the gun laws in question are unenforceable. One example, they say, of a violation that is nearly impossible to enforce is when someone lends a gun to a friend.

A district court previously rejected the sheriffs' claims but they appealed the case to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"If we stop there then look at all the decisions that were ultimately decided in the Supreme Court that would've never been decided and what's in the best interests of this country, so we want to make sure that we have the opportunity for the full process -- the full justice system -- to hear out our claims and our opinion and our side of this," Vallerio said.

Each side was given approximately 30 minutes to make their case on Monday morning before a three-judge panel. That's double the amount of the time the court usually allows for their cases.

Four to five months is the usual amount of time it takes for a decision in civil cases like this one, but a ruling could come down much sooner.

The Colorado Attorney General's Office issued a statement saying it was "appreciative of the court's time and consideration" during Monday morning's arguments. They wrote that AG Cynthia Coffman "on behalf of Gov. John Hickenlooper is seeking clarity of the law in this matter and looks forward to the panel's decision."

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