mass shootings

Boulder’s Assault Weapons Ban Was Blocked Days Before Shooting

Photo: Chet Strange/Getty Images

The city of Boulder, Colorado, was barred in court from enforcing its ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, just days before Monday’s deadly shooting in a local supermarket.

Boulder County District Court Judge Andrew Hartman ruled on March 12 that only state or federal law could mandate bans on magazines and assault rifles, according to a report from the Denver Post.

Ten days later, a gunman opened fire at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, killing ten people including a police officer, Eric Talley. A suspect was taken into custody at the scene, and there is currently no word on a motive for the attack.

The Boulder City Council approved the ordinance banning assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines in 2018 in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people.

The National Rifle Association praised the judge’s ruling in a tweet posted last week that read, “A Colorado judge gave law-abiding gun owners something to celebrate. In an @NRAILA-supported case, he ruled that the city of Boulder’s ban on commonly-owned rifles (AR-15s) and 10+ round mags was preempted by state law and STRUCK THEM DOWN.”

The shooting in Boulder comes just one week after a series of shootings at spas in the Atlanta metropolitan area left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women.

With a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress and Joe Biden in the White House, gun control advocates believe now is the time to act. The House recently passed legislation that would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers, but the prospect of the Senate filibuster blocking the measure looms heavily. The idea of getting rid of the filibuster in order to pass substantial legislation has gained more and more support in recent weeks, with President Biden seeming to back modifying the rule rather than dropping it outright.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday morning on reducing gun violence, not even 24 hours after the Boulder shooting. It was previously scheduled.

Boulder Assault Weapons Ban Blocked Days Before Shooting