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Federal judge upholds Colorado's three-day waiting period gun law

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Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – A federal judge declined to allow a preliminary injunction to stop a new Colorado law requiring a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases.

U.S. District Court Judge John Kane ruled against the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in their request to pause the law while their lawsuit plays out. The organization successfully halted a new Colorado law prohibiting the sale of firearms to those under 21.

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House Bill 23-1912 established a three-day waiting period for a seller to deliver a firearm to its purchaser. RMGO, a pro-gun advocacy group, and Alicia Garcia, a firearms instructor, filed a 36-page civil lawsuit arguing the law violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In his 42-page ruling, Judge Kane favored the testimony of academic witnesses who testified in support of the law and was critical of Clayton Cramer, the professor who was a witness for the RMGO.

“I do not give any weight to Professor Cramer’s opinions regarding legal standards or application of the law, as he is not qualified to provide these opinions,” Kane wrote. “I likewise do not consider his many opinions that are irrelevant to the present facts, that are unsupported, or that relate to opinions not provided by Professors (Randolph) Roth and (Robert) Spitzer in this case.”

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In a footnote, Kane stated Cramer made “ad hominem attacks aimed at Professor Spitzer. … Those attacks make Professor Cramer’s opinions less persuasive, not more. Like his ad hominem attacks, his other antagonistic and inflammatory language undermines his credibility.”

In a media release, RMGO maintained the law is unconstitutional.

“Unfortunately, the radical left’s gun-grabbing agenda is alive and well, as a Jimmy Carter-appointed judge denied RMGO’s request for a preliminary injunction against Colorado’s blatantly unconstitutional 3-day waiting period law in a United States District Court,” the release stated on Monday.

RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes said Kane’s ruling will be appealed.

“Undoubtedly, this is a bump in the road, but we won’t stop fighting for our members until this disastrous waiting period scheme is off the books,” Rhodes said in a statement. “RMGO members shouldn’t lose faith; we still have one more chance at a preliminary injunction via a Tenth Circuit panel, where we have already had success earlier this year.”

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Judge Kane cited previous court cases and academic research in his denial of the injunction.

“With a statistically rigorous study quantifiably illustrating the public safety benefits of a firearm waiting period, I weigh this against the purported harms the Plaintiffs would suffer,” Judge Kane wrote. “Even accepting the harm Plaintiffs describe as entirely true, it is not remotely close. For the sake of clarity, saving approximately 100 people in Colorado this year outweighs the aggregate harm of minimal expenditures of time and sacrificed business opportunities.”

In addition to the constitutional argument, Garcia, the firearms instructor, argued the waiting period is dangerous.

“It's truly ridiculous,” Garcia said in a statement. “I was forced to wait three days to take possession of a firearm I lawfully own. This law leaves countless women, like me, defenseless and could lead to unnecessary loss of life."