BOULDER – Two gun rights organizations filed federal court lawsuits Thursday challenging bans on semi-automatic weapons and magazine ammunition restrictions adopted by two Colorado cities after the state allowed local municipalities to enact tougher gun control measures than called for by state law.
The lawsuits against Boulder and Louisville by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Foundation for Gun Rights come after two others the groups lodged against the state and county over similar gun control measures.
Another Rocky Mountain Gun Owners challenge led one judge to temporarily block the town of Superior from enforcing a ban on the sale and possession of certain semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines.
The organization’s legal actions come after a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that expanded gun rights and threatens to upend similar firearms restrictions across the country. After the high court’s decision, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners promised a wave of lawsuits – and is following through with that promise.
Taylor Rhodes, executive director of the group, said in a statement that “it doesn’t matter how big or how small the localities are – if you pass unconstitutional gun control, we will sue you.”
The gun rights organizations contend in part that millions of residents own the now-banned rifles and magazines that can store more than a 10-round limit imposed both by Boulder and by Louisville in July – and that they are entitled to possess, sell or transfer them legally under their Second Amendment rights.
Shannon Aulabaugh, a spokesperson for the city of Boulder, said Thursday the city does not comment on pending litigation.
A spokesperson for Louisville couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Last month, the Foundation for Gun Rights sued Colorado over the state’s 2013 ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, citing the Supreme Court ruling. The foundation and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a sister organization, have been fighting to repeal the magazine capacity limit since its passing in 2013. The law followed the 2012 mass shooting at a theater in Aurora, a city on the outskirts of Denver, that killed 12 people and injured 70.
Other local governments only recently gained the ability to pass their own gun regulations.
Last year, state lawmakers repealed a law that prevented local governments from passing gun ordinances more restrictive than state laws in response to a shooting that killed 10 people at a Boulder supermarket in March 2021.