Gun own­ers file law­suit against Boul­der’s ban

City Coun­cil voted to pro­hibit some weapons

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

DEN­VER | Firearms own­ers wasted no time chal­leng­ing the gun ban in Boul­der, Colorado, fil­ing a law­suit one day af­ter the city coun­cil’s Tues­day vote to ex­pel “assault weapons” and cer­tain ac­ces­sories from the city lim­its.

The mo­tion filed by the Mountain States Le­gal Foun­da­tion seeks a pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion to stop the fa­mously lib­eral city from en­forc­ing the ban, which would sub­ject violators to fines of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail per of­fense.

The unan­i­mous vote at Tues­day night’s coun­cil meet­ing came amid a na­tional push for tougher gun­con­trol laws in re­sponse the deadly Feb. 14 school shoot­ing in Park­land, Florida, but foes blasted the mea­sure as un­con­sti­tu­tional and point­less.

“This ban is tan­ta­mount to Boul­der at­tempt­ing to stop drunk driv­ing by ban­ning Subarus,” said foun­da­tion at­tor­ney Cody J. Wis­niewski. “It ac­com­plishes noth­ing other than mak­ing crim­i­nals of law-abid­ing cit­i­zens.”

The or­di­nance for­bids the sale or possession of cer­tain semi­au­to­matic ri­fles as well as bump stocks and am­mu­ni­tion mag­a­zines hold­ing more than 10 rounds, and raises the le­gal gun-possession age from 18 to 21.

The law­suit filed Wed­nes­day in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Den­ver names as de­fen­dants Boul­der res­i­dents and gun own­ers Jon Cal­dara, pres­i­dent of the In­de­pen­dence In­sti­tute, and Tyler Faye, a mem­ber of the Univer­sity of Colorado shoot­ing team, as well as the Boul­der Ri­fle Club and Bi­son Tac­ti­cal.

In ad­di­tion to a flurry of state and fed­eral leg­is­la­tion, the Park­land shoot­ing has also prompted at least two lo­cal­i­ties — Boul­der and Deer­field, Illi­nois, — to pass or­di­nances ban­ning “assault weapons,” rais­ing ques­tions over whether such ac­tions are en­force­able.

The law­suit noted that Colorado state law for­bids lo­cal gov­ern­ments from pro­hibit­ing “the sale, pur­chase, or possession of a firearm that a per­sona may law­fully sell, pur­chase, or pos­sess un­der state or fed­eral law.”

Coun­cil mem­bers have claimed a home-rule ex­cep­tion in defending the or­di­nance, which in­cludes ex­emp­tions for mil­i­tary, law en­force­ment and com­pet­i­tive shoot­ers.

The mea­sure also al­lows for the grand­fa­ther­ing of semi-au­to­matic ri­fles whose own­ers can prove that they bought the firearms be­fore the ban was en­acted.

Coun­cil mem­bers Sam Weaver and Bob Yates said in a May 5 ar­ti­cle that they both own guns, but that the “sen­si­ble gun reg­u­la­tion” was the “right thing to do” for sev­eral rea­sons.

“Be­cause it re­flects the val­ues of a ma­jor­ity of our com­mu­nity,” they wrote in the Daily Cam­era op-ed. “Be­cause it will make us in­cre­men­tally safer. Be­cause it will tell our in­ef­fec­tive state and fed­eral leg­is­la­tors that cities will act when they fail to. And be­cause it’s the right thing to do.”

The lib­eral Daily Cam­era dis­agreed in an April ed­i­to­rial, dis­miss­ing the mea­sure as a “sym­bolic ges­ture.”

“It re­lates to an is­sue over which mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have vir­tu­ally no con­trol,” said the April 4 ed­i­to­rial. “And yet it will al­most cer­tainly pro­voke both sides of a highly-charged, emo­tional is­sue to stand up on their hind legs in right­eous in­dig­na­tion.”

While Colorado has trended blue in the last cou­ple of decades, the state also hosts a boom­ing hunt­ing in­dus­try and wide­spread gun own­er­ship.

“Colorado is not Cal­i­for­nia; these laws have no place here,” said foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Perry Pend­ley.

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