Hot Sheet

Jon Caldara, rifle club sue over Boulder ‘assault weapons’ ban

Authors: 9News, Mark Harden - May 18, 2018 - Updated: May 18, 2018

Independence Institute President Jon Caldara strikes a pose during a recent interview at the conservative think tank's Denver offices. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)Independence Institute President Jon Caldara. (Photo by Ernest Luning/ Colorado Politics)

Boulder’s new ban on assault weapons is already being challenged in court.

The ban — city Ordinance 8245 — was passed unanimously by the Boulder City Council. It bans sale and possession of guns the city defines as assault weapons along with bump stocks (a.k.a. “multi-burst trigger activators”) devices that allow a gun to be fired rapidly) and large magazines.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, claims the ordinance “violate[s] multiple provisions of the U.S. Constitution including Article VI, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment.”

It was filed by Jon Caldara of Boulder — a broadcast host and president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank — as well as the Boulder Rifle Club.

Attorneys from the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation are representing the plaintiffs.

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Under the ordinance, Boulder defines “assault weapons” as:

All semiautomatic rifles that have the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and that have any of the following characteristics: a pistol grip or thumbhole stock; a folding or telescoping stock; or any protruding grip or other device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.

All semiautomatic center-fire pistols that have any of the following characteristics: the capacity to accept a magazine other than in the pistol grip or any device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.

Any firearm that has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon as defined by the city, plus any part or combination or parts designed to convert a firearm into an assault weapon.

Under the measure, Boulderites would have 30 days to get rid of bump stocks and until the end of the year to dispose of high-capacity magazines. The ordinance would exempt law enforcement, military personnel and federal officers.



KUSA-9News in Denver is the television news partner of Colorado Politics.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.