Boulder City Council Sued In Federal Court

Tuesday, May 15th, the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a ban on semi-automatic rifles with cosmetics they didn’t like, a ban on standard capacity magazines, and bump fire stocks.

As the Denver Post reported:

The ordinance prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons, as defined by the city. Also outlawed are magazines with high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.

Owners of the latter two items will have until July 15 to dispose of or sell them. Assault weapons will be grandfathered in; those in possession of such firearms have until the end of the year to receive a certificate proving prior ownership.

The grandfather clause was an olive branch to gun owners, said Councilman Sam Weaver, as was the abandonment of an early proposal to establish a registration system for assault weapons in the city.

Colorado has a state firearms preemption law that, on the face of it, forbids cities from adopting regulations which “prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law.” Firearms law is considered a matter of state concern. Denver, so far, is the only city in the state whose firearm regulations were upheld because it was considered a “special case” due to its size.

At the meeting where the Boulder City Council adopted their ban, representatives from the Mountain States Legal Foundation vowed that they would oppose the measure in court. They have kept their word.

In a release sent out late last night, the Mountain States Legal Foundation announced that they had filed suit in US District Court for the District of Colorado. The lead plaintiff is Jon Caldara who is a member of the Boulder Rifle Club. In addition, Caldara is the president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank, based in Denver.

More on the lawsuit including a link to the complaint is below:

May 16, 2018 – DENVER, CO.  A group of
Boulder residents who face heavy fines and jail time for the mere
possession of firearms that are legal throughout Colorado and the United
States filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the Boulder City Council’s
actions.  Represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, the
plaintiffs are taking a stand against the city council’s
unconstitutional passage of a broad-sweeping ban of the most popular and
widely-owned firearms and magazines in America.  In a blatant act of
discrimination against a political minority, the city council also
unconstitutionally raised the minimum age for firearm possession in
Boulder city limits to twenty-one.  The lawsuit was filed in federal
district court in Denver, Colorado.
Jon Caldara, a well-known, pillar of the
community; the Boulder Rifle Club, which has been in existence since
1889; Bison Tactical, a small business in Boulder city limits; and Tyler
Faye, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, all seek to
defend their rights and the rights of their fellow Boulder residents
against the illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory actions of the
City of Boulder.
“This ban is tantamount to Boulder
attempting to stop drunk driving by banning Subarus,” said Cody J.
Wisniewski, attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation representing
the plaintiffs.  “It accomplishes nothing other than making criminals of
law-abiding citizens.”
“The West wasn’t won with a registered
gun,” said William Perry Pendley, Mountain States Legal Foundation’s
president.  “Colorado is not California; these laws have no place here.”
On May 15, 2018, the Boulder City Council
passed Ordinance 8245, amending the Boulder Revised Code to ban many
rifles, shotguns, pistols, and standard-capacity magazines, as well as
raising the minimum age for firearm possession to twenty-one, within
Boulder city limits. The ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote
despite an overwhelming number of public comments, telephone calls, and
emails expressing concerns with and opposition to the ordinance. 
Mountain States Legal Foundation will be seeking a preliminary
injunction to suspend enforcement of the ordinance pending the outcome
of the litigation.  Without such an injunction, Boulder residents may be
subject to up to $1,000 in fines and ninety (90) days in jail per
violation.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded
in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to
individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and
ethical government, and the free enterprise system. In 2012, Mountain
States Legal Foundation, on behalf of its clients, prevailed in the
Colorado Supreme Court in
Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
The Court’s unanimous decision in that case confirmed the right of
concealed carry permit holders to possess concealed firearms on the
public university’s campus.
For more information:  Caldara v. City of Boulder

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