DA: Boulder shooter had 10 illegal large capacity magazines

Grocery Store Tragedy

FILE – In this Thursday, March 25, 2021, file photo, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa appears before Boulder District Court Judge Thomas Mulvahill at the Boulder County Justice Center in Boulder, Colo. On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, prosecutors filed over 40 more felony charges against Alissa, who is charged with killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket in March, including for allegedly using a large capacity magazine banned by state lawmakers in response to earlier mass shootings. (Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via AP, Pool, File)

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — The man accused in the Boulder mass shooting is facing 32 additional charges, including 10 related to possessing large-capacity magazines. 

In Colorado, it is illegal to buy or possess a magazine that can hold more than 15 rounds. The law was passed in 2013 following the Aurora theater shooting. 

According to Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty, the suspected shooter in Boulder had 10 large capacity magazines on his person or in his vehicle. Dougherty declined to say how many rounds each magazine could hold but clarified that each had the capacity for more than 15 rounds. 

“Obviously there was a law broken here in many ways by the shooter and the magazine issue is a minor one compared to the death and mayhem that he caused,” Eileen McCarron, President of Colorado Ceasefire said. 

Through her organization, McCarron helped lobby for the law when Colorado lawmakers banned large capacity magazines. She said she believes there are holes in the law that still allow people to get their hands on the illegal parts. 

“A gun store selling them is breaking the law and we know there are gun stores that are doing that,” she said. 

According to McCarron, in 2019 a supporter of her organization witnessed a Colorado gun store selling disassembled kits to try and “skirt the law.”

However, it is not believed the suspected Boulder shooter obtained the large capacity magazines in this manner. 

“We don’t have any reason to believe they were sold illegally,” Dougherty said Thursday during a press conference. 

He added that the investigation is still in its early stages and that if any retailer did illegally sell the banned gun parts, additional charges would be filed. No Colorado gun stores are currently facing charges related to this tragedy. 

If the magazines used in the Boulder shooting were not sold illegally, McCarron says it would mean they were purchased eight or more years ago and grandfathered into Colorado’s law banning them. The other possibility is that they were purchased out of state. 

“If he went out of state or obtained the device by going to an out-of-state dealer, that was a legal purchase. It was illegal as soon as he brought the magazine back into the state,” McCarron said. 

Every state that borders Colorado allows the sale of large capacity magazines.

Last week, Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) helped introduce a new effort to change that. The legislation aims to ban large capacity magazines nationwide.

“There’s no reason why anyone, other than military, needs a gun magazine that holds more than 10 rounds,” DeGette said. 

The bill would allow those already in possession of large capacity magazines to keep them. They would not be allowed to transfer or sell them to anyone. 

She has fought for similar legislation in the past and it has failed. 

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