New gun control laws that limit ammunition magazines and require universal background checks take effect Monday in Colorado, despite the pending legal action of gun rights advocates and county sheriffs who are challenging the legislation.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bills into law in March, largely in response to the mass shooting in an Aurora movie theater eight months ago, along with the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., The Denver Post reported. Hickenlooper also signed a third bill that will charge gun customers for background checks.
Colorado is the second state to pass stricter gun control laws after the Newtown shooting. New York passed a law in January that limits ammunition magazines to seven rounds and toughens its assault weapons ban, according to USA Today.
In anticipation of the laws, thousands of Colorado gun rights advocates flocked to firearm manufacturer Magpul Industries this weekend to buy rifles and ammunition that would soon be illegal.
The company urged customers on its Facebook page to celebrate "freedom on the last weekend before the unconstitutional mag ban takes effect."
The "Farewell to Arms Freedom Festival," as it was called, attracted about 5,000 people who lined up to receive free and discounted ammunition magazines, according to The Washington Times.
Magpul advertised on Facebook that the first 1,500 customers to arrive would receive free 30-round polymer magazines, or PMAGs. The gun maker has also announced that it will leave Colorado because of the laws.
In May, the company joined sheriffs from 54 of Colorado's 64 counties in a lawsuit challenging the laws that limit magazines and require background checks. The sheriffs argued that the laws violate citizens' Second Amendment rights.
Duane Liptak, Magpul's director of product management and marketing, said in a released statement about the lawsuit that the laws limit people's ability to defend themselves.
"These laws will do nothing to enhance public safety and only place unreasonable limitations on the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves," Liptak said. "Extreme gun control interests have forced the passage of these unconstitutional laws in Colorado, and as a company, we are resolved to restore those rights to the people."
Many local gun store owners also said they are opposed to the laws and hope they will be repealed.
Paul Paradis, owner of Paradise Sales, told KKTV that upset customers would pressure the government to repeal the laws. He said many people hurried to his store "in a panic mode" to make purchases, according to KKTV.
Richard Beck, who owns Pawnee Sportsmens Center, told The Coloradoan that he thinks the laws are "unenforceable."
"They have no idea why the Second Amendment is there," he said.