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Gun debate reignited with new focus on Boulder city ban

Erika Gonzalez - Fox 31  | Published on 3/26/2021

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — The gun debate reignited after a shooter opened fire at a Boulder, Colo., grocery store on Monday, leaving 10 people dead. Part of the conversation surrounded a ban on assault weapons recently overturned in Boulder.

The City of Boulder passed the ordinance banning assault weapons in 2018. According to the City of Boulder Attorney, Thomas Carr, the decision by the district court judge was issued on March 11, siding with a National Rifle Association-backed legal challenge. The judge enjoined enforcement, which means enforcement was prohibited.


Following Monday’s shooting, questions were raised about the ban and if it could have prevented the suspect from purchasing a Ruger AR-556 pistol on March 16, as noted in the arrest affidavit released Tuesday.

Based on the public facts of the case, the answer to that question is impossible to know for sure. For example, investigators have not said where the suspected shooter purchased the pistol or other pertinent details about the weapon used on Monday.

City of Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said he does not believe the ordinance would have prevented Monday’s mass shooting in his city.

“No, I’m not sure it would have prevented it. In fact, no laws are going to prevent 100% of these kinds of events, but everything helps,” said Weaver.

Weaver went on to say he still supported the ordinance.

“Part of the purpose of the ban was to let people know we don’t want weapons like that in Boulder and part of the purpose the ban was to also try and prop our state legislators into taking action,” said Weaver.

The Colorado State Shooting Association (CSSA) is the official state association of the National NRA. CSSA supports the judge’s ruling on Boulder’s ordinance.

“That you’re going to have criminals, who at the heart level, are evil and malicious and they are all of a sudden going to become law-abiding citizens, and are going to respect these gun control laws, is ridiculous,” said CSSA President John Seville.

Seville said there should be more focus on what’s causing gun violence instead of controlling access to firearms.

“What can we do to minimize violence? What can we do to minimize violence in our culture as a whole? What can we do to equip Colorado citizens in the safe use of firearms for personal defense, and work with the legislature whenever possible,” said Seville.

According to Carr, the city has 49 days from when the decision was issued to file a notice of appeal. Carr says the city is reviewing its options now. Weaver said the city will likely file an appeal and expects the case could end up in the Colorado Supreme Court.