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Judge blocked Boulder from enforcing a 2018 ban on assault weapons less than two weeks before gunman killed 10 with an ‘AR-15 rifle’ at a grocery store
A judge stopped Boulder from enforcing the assault rifle ban less than two weeks before the city was rocked by a mass shooting that left 10 people dead in a supermarket.
Boulder County District Court Judge Andrew Hartman ruled March 12 that the city’s two-year bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines violated a 2003 state law prohibiting municipalities from enacting your own firearms regulations.
The National Rifle Association praised Hartman’s ruling in a March 16 tweet, saying he “gave law-abiding gun owners something to celebrate.”
Who is Ahmad Al Issa?
Six days later, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Issa carried out a 20-minute shooting inside a King Soopers grocery store on Monday afternoon, killing 10 people with what witnesses described as an AR-15-style rifle.
Authorities have not confirmed which weapon was used, so it is unclear whether it would have been covered by the ban that the Boulder Police Department stopped enforcing after Hartman’s ruling.
The Boulder attack marked the seventh mass shooting in the U.S. in the span of a single week, and it came just six days after eight people were killed by a gunman who attacked three spas in Atlanta on December 16. March.
The recent series of shootings has reignited America’s debate over gun control after 2020 saw the lowest number of mass shootings in more than a decade as the coronavirus pandemic sent much of the country to the ground. blocking.
The debate is especially intense in Colorado, which has had more mass shootings per capita since 1999 than all but four states, according to a 2019 analysis by the Denver Post.
A judge blocked Boulder from enforcing a ban on assault rifles less than two weeks.
Boulder passed its two ordinances prohibiting the possession of assault rifles and large-capacity magazines in the wake of the Parkland shooting in 2018, which left 17 people dead at Marjorie Stoneman High School in Florida.
The gun ban applied to certain semi-automatic pistols and rifles with pistol grips, a folding or telescopic stock, or any protruding grip that allows a weapon to be stabilized with the non-firing hand, according to the Denver Post. Large capacity magazines were defined as “any ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 10 rounds”.
The city council created a permit system to allow anyone to keep a weapon on the prohibited list if they possessed it prior to the ordinance.
Anyone found to be in violation of the ordinance was subject to up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $ 1,000.
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Boulder County District Court Judge Andrew Hartman (pictured) ruled March 12 that the city’s two-year bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines violated a 2003 state law that prohibits municipalities from promulgating their own firearms regulations.
Gun advocates quickly sued for the bans to be lifted, filing cases at both the local and federal levels.
The lawsuit that led to Hartman’s decision was brought by two Boulder residents and two pro-gun groups, the Colorado State Shooting Association and Gunsport of Colorado, who argued that it violated a state law that said the regulation Arms should be left to the state and federal government, not local legislators.
‘A local government cannot enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may legally sell, buy, or possess under state or federal law,’ says the law enacted in 2003.
“The inconsistency between local governments of laws regulating the possession and ownership of firearms results in people being treated differently under the law based solely on their place of residence.”
Lawyers for the city argued that the council had the right to pass its own ordinances because it is a municipality of ‘autonomy’, meaning it can enact laws without explicit permission from the state.
They also argued that the bans were necessary because there are no adequate rules on assault weapons and large capacity magazines at the state level.
But Judge Hartman disagreed, pointing to the state’s list of dangerous and illegal weapons.
Andrew Hartman Quicks and Facts
Boulder County District Judge Andrew Hartman blocked Boulder from enforcing bans on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines on March 12.
He decided that the bans violated a 2003 Colorado law that prohibits municipalities from enacting their own firearm regulations.
The National Rifle Association celebrated the ruling in a tweet on March 16.
Six days later, a gunman started shooting inside a King Soopers grocery store on Monday, killing 10 people.
Witnesses said the gunman was carrying an AR-15-style rifle
Authorities have not confirmed which weapon was used, so it is unclear if it would have been covered by Boulder’s ban.
The Boulder attack marked the seventh mass shooting in the US in a single week
Colorado has had more mass shootings per capita since 1999 than all but four states, according to a 2019 analysis by the Denver Post.