A potentially significant Second Amendment battle is forming in Boulder, Colorado, where officials recently adopted a ban on a number of ordinary weapons.
The ban effectively the president of the Denver-based, free-market think tank Independence Institute, a criminal, and he has declared he won’t comply.
Meanwhile, the Mountain States Legal Foundation is suing the city for the ordinance, which requires owners to “certify” their “assault weapons,” as defined by the city. Otherwise, the weapons must be removed from the city or be destroyed.
Violators face fines, confiscation and jail time.
The foundation contends in a court brief that the city cannot “undermine the exercise of fundamental and unalienable rights and ignore the U.S. Constitution and controlling Supreme Court precedent.”
Can the city, it asks, “ignore its state constitution and state law by infringing upon and criminalizing an individual’s unalienable and natural right to self-defense, and the right to keep and bear arms?”
The Supreme Court has dismissed ordinances in Washington, D.C., and Chicago similar to Boulder’s, recognizing an individual right to bear arms.
Boulder’s ordinance 8245 “banned the sale and possession of guns in the city defined as assault weapons in addition to bump stock devices and large magazines, and banned the sale and possession of weapons to anyone under age 21.”
City officials, such as councilman Aaron Brockett, have bluntly stated their aim: “My hope is that we will see more bans … so these weapons will no longer be available.”
Caldara noted in a commentary that progressives formerly advocated for individual and constitutional rights.
“Progressives have not just rejected that proud tradition, they have remade it into the ugly opposite – the end justifies all: Coercing speech with speech codes and forcing cake bakers to create statements against their core religious beliefs; social justice warfare and identity politics; the nanny state banning everything from plastic straws to tobacco products; and forcing private health insurance products at gun-point,” he said.
“Progressives wield intolerance like the weapon it is. But are they kidding us or themselves when they smugly assert their tolerance? Do they believe their ‘Celebrate Diversity’ bumper stickers, blind to the hypocrisy?
“I find myself thinking about this since at the beginning of January I became a criminal in my tolerant hometown of Boulder. Boulder, which did so much to promote the civil rights of the LGBT community in decades past, when alternative lifestyles were misunderstood and feared, is now leading the charge against people like me whose lifestyle is misunderstood and feared.”
He continued: “In Boulder, if your core beliefs include dressing as the opposite gender or following the teachings of the Quran our city government will bend over backwards to protect you from those who wish to separate you from your community. You’d never be forced to self-identify to government authorities, to submit to inspection, to be registered and made to pay fees to keep your core beliefs.”
Caldara said he is “asking for progressives who run city government to live up to their assertion of tolerance and just let me be.”
“Because I own a long gun with a pistol grip and a detachable magazine, I had to the end of December to self-identify to the police, present myself for investigation and my gun for inspection, pay fees in order to receive a police-issued permission slip, all to avoid jail time, monetary penalties, and the confiscation and destruction of my gun.
“I have never been convicted or even charged with a crime in my 54 years of life, but this week I became a criminal. I am no different then potentially thousands of other Boulderites who cannot bring themselves to submit to this ugliness.”
For that decision, he said, his daughter in Boulder’s school “has been commented on by teachers in front of their classes … has been ganged up on by students and bullied because ‘her father is a murderer.‘”
has met with widespread resistance from “gun-toting hippies.”
Only 342 “assault weapons,” or semiautomatic rifles, were certified by Boulder police before the Dec. 31 deadline, meaning there could be thousands of residents in the university town of 107,000 in violation of the sweeping gun-control ordinance.