PALISADE, Colo.

Some of the best shooters on the planet are coming to the 2 Gun PCC/Pistol Nationals at the Cameo Shooting and Education Complex in Palisade, but a letter from the Mesa County Sheriff to the complex manager about the law prohibiting large capacity magazines and the complications of enforcing that law has generated contention.

Colorado State Senator Rhonda Fields sponsored the magazine ban that was enacted 9 years ago with one exception requiring an owner to have continuous possession of the magazine since July 1, 2013. “That ignorance he’s speaking about that he can’t do it that’s just ridiculous,” said Fields. “It’s shameful. It’s disgusting.”

Sheriff Rowell stands by his position and the words written on the letter sent to General Manager, and CPW employee, Walt Proulx, C.R.S. 18-12-302 causes hardship with shooters at times deterring them from coming to the facility. The letter states the law allowing pre-ban magazines is difficult to enforce and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office does not seek out law-abiding to see if they meet the statute. “hat is a very poorly written law,” said Sheriff Rowell after a local Sheriff’s Position Debate in Grand Junction on Friday, June 3. Rowell says, “These are people that are coming to our community to compete in shooting events. No, I have no intentions of going out there and interfering with the range.”

The Mesa County District Attorney released a statement in support of the sheriff’s position. Colorado Parks and wildlife owns the shooting complex and released a statement saying quote “Organizations holding shooting events on CPW properties will require participating individuals to sign an affidavit they are in compliance with Colorado’s laws.”

Eileen McCarron with the organization called, Colorado Ceasefire received the letter Sheriff Rowell sent to Proulx back in April from an anonymous shooting competitor. The goal of Colorado Ceasefire is to help enact gun reform measures. McCarron says, “I think it is a good step forward, but I also believe that on that affidavit they should have the person give their age.”

She says competitors less than 24 years old are highly unlikely to have owned the magazines since 2013, but that’s not the only ban. C.R.S. 18-12-303 states a large capacity magazine manufactured in Colorado must include a permanent stamp or marking indicating the LCM was manufactured or assembled after July 1, 2013, but McCaron shares another competition concern that comes directly from the USPSA rule book. “The maximum capacity will be the maximum allowed for all competitors in the contest,” said McCarron reading the rules directly off the USPSA website. She repeats, “In states where competitors are restricted by law to maximum magazine capacity, that maximum capacity will be the maximum allowed for all competitors in the contest.”

Instead of verifying if each shooter out of about 200 meets the statute, McCarron offers a simple solution. “Limit all magazines to 15 rounds,” said McCarron.

Finally, McCarron shares one more concern followed by hope. “They’re closing it to anybody except guests and competitors. So, if we can’t affect what they’re doing now maybe, we can work towards a future where they get their act straight and they obey the law.”

She also shares that one of the most popular high-capacity magazine manufacturers wasn’t founded until 2015 which makes those products illegal if used in the shooting competition.

The 2 Gun PCC/Pistol Nationals at the Cameo Shooting Complex starts June 9 and lasts through June 12.

About 200 competitors pay an entry fee of $295 each according to the USPSA website.