- The judge’s action marks the latest victory for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in its fight against gun restrictions across Colorado
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, blocking Boulder County from enforcing its large-capacity magazine and semi-automatic weapon bans, the latest victory for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in its fight against gun restrictions in Colorado.
The ruling follows a nearly identical decision by a different judge last month, prohibiting the town of Superior from enforcing similar gun laws after the Loveland-based gun rights advocacy group sued.
U.S. District Court Judge Charlotte Sweeney issued the restraining order against Boulder County, ruling that the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and its legal arm, the National Association for Gun Rights, and Boulder County resident Martin Carter Kehoe established a likelihood to prove their case in challenging the constitutionality of two sections of the ordinance.
The ruling cites the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that struck down a New York law that had required people to show why they needed a concealed weapons permit. Justices ruled that people have a constitutional right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside their homes.
Boulder County can still enforce its ban against rapid-fire trigger activators, a device that enables a weapon to increase its rate of fire, court documents stated.
“Last month, we promised our members we would sue over these unconstitutional gun control laws, and today we are making good on our promise,” Taylor Rhodes, executive director of RMGO, said in a statement. “Again, it doesn’t matter how big or how small the localities are — if you pass unconstitutional gun control, we will sue you.”
Boulder County’s ordinance set out to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons, magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds and trigger activators. It cited some of Colorado’s most deadly shootings, including the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting where a gunman used an assault rifle and 100-round drum magazine to kill 12 people and injure 70 and the 2021 King Soopers shooting in Boulder when a shooter killed 10 people using an AR-style gun.
Boulder County commissioners, who unanimously approved the ordinance in August, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
After the judge’s ruling, the city of Boulder said it would “voluntarily pause” enforcement of its ban on most semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines “to allow time for more legal coordination among neighboring jurisdictions,” according to a news release Tuesday evening.
“We always anticipated that some of our gun violence prevention measures might face legal challenges. While these rulings are not directly related to the city of Boulder’s measures, we believe it is prudent to work with our neighbors on a coordinated legal strategy,” City Attorney Teresa Taylor Tate said in the release.
Boulder County and the cities of Boulder and Louisville are seeking to consolidate their cases with Superior so that there could be one court hearing to determine if the temporary restraining order should be extended through the duration of the lawsuit, rather than having separate hearings decided by separate judges, Taylor Tate said.
“This decision in no way demonstrates a lack of resolve by Boulder’s City Council or administration,” she said. “We believe these bans are both necessary and legal.”
Last month, the National Foundation for Gun Rights also sued Gov. Jared Polis, challenging the constitutionality of the 2013 Standard Capacity Magazine Ban, which prohibits the sale, transfer and possession of magazines capable of accepting more than 15 rounds in Colorado.
The Boulder County restraining order remains in effect for 14 days and a status conference is scheduled for Sept. 8.
Source: Olivia Prentzel, https://coloradosun.com/2022/08/30/judge-blocks-boulder-countys-assault-weapon-ban/