Judge takes action on gun law banning semi-automatics


For the second time in just weeks, a federal court has tossed out city regulations that restrict residents’ Second Amendment rights.

The most recent decision comes from Judge Andrew Hartman regarding a Boulder, Colorado, ordinance.

The city banned the possession, sale or transfer of semi-automatic sporting rifles, as well as magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds.

But Hartman said 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 judge noted the state “has passed laws that are effectively a scheme preempting local governments from enacting municipal firearms and magazine possession ordinances.”

Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, praised the decision.

“This is the way state preemption laws, which we wholeheartedly support, are supposed to work,” he 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.”

Hartman’s ruling followed a unanimous decision by the Washington State Court of Appeals in a SAF lawsuit that the city of Edmonds acted illegally when it adopted a so-called “safe storage” requirement.

SAF and the National Rifle Association challenged the restriction and a similar one in Seattle that was a model for laws in other states.

Gottlieb said the judge 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,” he said.

SAF’s case a decade ago, McDonald v. City of Chicago, achieved a landmark ruling affirming that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” is protected by the Second Amendment.

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