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Judge to Boulder: Sorry, You’re Still In Colorado

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Pictured: Not California

Boulder, Colorado really, really wants to be California.

If you live in Colorado and own guns, chances are quite good that you already have a snide nickname for Boulder, Colorado (I like “Boulderfornia” myself) because the city has developed a real antipathy to the Second Amendment. This is in pretty striking contrast to the rest of the state, which has historically been very gun-friendly. However, the folks who are abandoning California for Colorado to escape high taxes and crime rates are changing the demographics as well as some of the attitudes. Today, however, the anti-gun takeover of Boulder has been dealt a blow by one judge. His stunning legal ruling? That Boulder is still part of Colorado and needs to follow its laws. The Second Amendment Foundation (and we) heartily concur.

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The Second Amendment Foundation applauds a ruling by Colorado District Judge Andrew Hartman, who struck down a Boulder city ordinance that outlawed possession, sale or transfer of semi-automatic sporting rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

“This wasn’t our case,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but it was the right decision by Judge Andrew Hartman. He ruled against the city ordinance because it violated Colorado’s state preemption law, which prohibits such local ordinances as the one in Boulder. Anti-gun politicians and organizations target such laws because they require uniformity in state gun laws and prevent the creation of legal minefields designed to trip up law-abiding citizens.”

Gottlieb is also delighted that the media alluded to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2010 that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. This was a SAF case known as McDonald v. City of Chicago, which nullified that city’s long-standing ban on handguns.

Judge Hartman’s ruling is another victory for state preemption, Gottlieb noted, coming soon after a Washington State Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously in a SAF lawsuit that the City of Edmonds acted illegally when it adopted a so-called “safe storage” requirement a few years ago. SAF and the National Rifle Association challenged that restriction and a similar one in the City of Seattle. Washington has one of the earliest preemption statutes, which has been used as a model for similar laws in other states.

In Colorado, Judge Hartman wrote, “The Court has determined that only Colorado state (or federal) law can prohibit the possession, sale, and transfer of assault weapons and large capacity magazines…the State of Colorado has passed laws that are effectively a scheme preempting local governments from enacting municipal firearms and magazine possession ordinances.”

“This is the way state preemption laws, which we wholeheartedly support, are supposed to work,” Gottlieb said. “Our hats are off to the plaintiffs in this case, Robert Chambers and James Jones, Gunsport of Colorado and the Colorado State Shooting Association. Their victory is a win for all Centennial State gun owners.”

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As the COVID-19 pandemic has released more urban people from having to commute to a physical office, more urban people will be moving to rural areas and states. When they do, they usually remember to pack their anti-gun attitudes in the U-Haul next to the living room sofa. Colorado is one of the first states to be hit by this trend, but it won’t be the last. Are you seeing shifting attitudes towards the Second Amendment where you live? Tell us in the comments!

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