Gun groups’ success blocking local firearm controls leaves towns desperate to stop massacres

Gun groups' success blocking local firearm controls leaves towns desperate to stop massacres

On March 12, a Colorado judge struck down Boulder’s municipal ban on assault-style rifles. On March 16, a 21-year-old suburban Denver man bought a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic pistol. On March 22 he allegedly shot 10 people at a Boulder supermarket, killing all including a police officer. The assault-style ban set by the municipality fell after a two-year court case, but is sure to stoke battles nationwide over city attempts to pass firearms regulations that are stricter than state or federal laws. Police Tuesday did not say where the suspect purchased the Ruger pistol, which is designed to operate like a rifle. Even if bought in Boulder it’s unclear whether it would have been covered by the town’s former ban , which included many semi-automatic rifles and pistols. Over the last few decades dozens of other towns, villages and cities have found themselves defending their efforts to restrict firearm sales and possession and use inside their communities. They’re up against a campaign of nearly identical state laws, known as model legislation , by the National Rifle Association and other groups to mandate “preemption” – meaning local law can’t trump state or federal rules. Preemption creates tension among conservatives, who traditionally favor local control and limited government but when it relates to gun rights advocate for uniformity in lieu of a chaotic patchwork of laws. The same standards have been applied to local bans on soda, plastic bags and short-term vacation rentals. Groups like the Second Amendment Foundation are on constant […]

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