High court nixes review of gun raid

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday announced it will not hear a case involving law enforcement’s seizure of firearms from a Fruitvale man’s home.

William Martin had asked the state’s high court to review a decision issued in June by the Colorado Court of Appeals.

A three-person panel of judges with the appellate court found that a search warrant was legal that allowed Mesa County Sheriff’s Department SWAT officers to enter Martin’s home and remove 150 firearms, in addition to 30,000 rounds of ammunition, on Nov. 15, 2007.

The weapons were handed over by the Sheriff’s Department to agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Mesa County Chief Judge David Bottger signed off on the search, finding there was probable cause that Martin was a felon in possession of firearms.

Martin pleaded guilty in Mesa County in May 1991 to felony vehicular assault and was sentenced to probation. He successfully completed probation in January 1994.

Martin’s attorneys unsuccessfully argued that the 2007 raid was illegal because Martin’s right to bear arms was restored when he completed his probation.

The Colorado Legislature adopted a law prohibiting felons from possessing firearms in July 1994, six months after Martin finished probation, Martin’s attorneys argued.

Martin’s guns eventually were returned to his wife, Shelley, after state and federal prosecutors declined to bring charges in the case.


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