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Federal Judge Blocks ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban in Colorado County; Others Agree to Stop Enforcement

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A federal judge has handed Second Amendment advocates a major victory in Colorado.

The Reload, a website tracking gun-related issues, reported the federal court action on Tuesday, adding that it was the second in as many months barring enforcement of a ban on certain types of semi-automatic rifles.

Interestingly, the federal judge who blocked the so-called “assault weapons” ban, was appointed by President Joe Biden.

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U.S. District Judge Charlotte Sweeney implemented a temporary restraint against Boulder County, stopping enforcement of the jurisdictional ban on the manufacture and sale of such weapons which includes the most popular of all models, the AR-15, as well as ammunition magazines that can hold 10 or more rounds, the website reported.

“On this admittedly limited record and with a liberal analysis of this factor, the Court finds that Plaintiffs establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits,” Sweeney wrote, referencing the recent U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen ruling as the basis for her decision.

The Reload adds:

The TRO order marks the second indication of early success for gun rights advocates in the state since the Supreme Court handed down its landmark gun carry decision in June. Last month, an Obama-appointed District Court judge issued a TRO against the Town of Superior to block it from enforcing a similar ban following a lawsuit from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO).

The group subsequently filed suits against the Cities of Boulder and Louisville, as well as Boulder County, to challenge similar laws passed as a collaborative effort by the localities. The continued success of gun-rights advocates in these suits could deter future efforts to enact stringent gun control at the local level in Colorado. The ruling also shows the new Bruen standard of review for gun suits may be bad news for other assault weapons bans across the country.

Sweeney’s Tuesday order was handed down the same day that RMGO and the Colorado cities of Boulder, Superior, and Louisville, as well as Boulder County, came to an agreement to stop enforcing the bans and instead consolidate their cases.

“Further, counsel for Louisville, the City of Boulder, and Boulder County have represented that, in the event that consolidation is granted, they will agree to stay enforcement of their respective assault weapon and LCM bans pending resolution of the preliminary injunction motions, thereby negating both the need for any additional briefing on the TRO motions and for any additional judicial resources to be spent on that issue,” the joint motion said.

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“Consolidation would avoid the inherent risk of inconsistent judgments that would be raised by the separate treatment of four nearly identical cases in the same federal district court,” it continued.

The Tuesday order bars Boulder County from enforcing the weapons ban for 14 days in order for the parties to prepare their cases further. If the judge grants the motion to consolidate, then the court may move to consider a permanent injunction in all four jurisdictions, The Reload noted.

Meanwhile, despite the high court’s ruling earlier this summer in the New York case, which found that the state’s concealed carry laws were unconstitutionally restrictive, there is a move afoot to curb the practice again.

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The Associated Press reported Tuesday:

Amid the bright lights and electronic billboards across New York’s Times Square, city authorities are posting new signs proclaiming the bustling crossroads a “Gun Free Zone.”

The sprawling Manhattan tourist attraction is one of scores of “sensitive” places — including parks, churches and theaters — that will be off limits for guns under a sweeping new state law going into effect Thursday. The measure, passed after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June expanded gun rights, also sets stringent standards for issuing concealed carry permits.

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New York was among roughly six states whose concealed carry restrictions were found to be in violation of the Second Amendment’s protected right of individuals to keep and bear arms outside of their homes.

The new law is already being challenged in court.

“They seem to be designed less towards addressing gun violence and more towards simply preventing people from getting guns — even if those people are law-abiding, upstanding citizens, who according to the Supreme Court have the rights to have them,” Jonathan Corbett, a Brooklyn attorney and concealed carry applicant who challenged the law along with several others, told the AP.

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