Appeal Challenges Lower Court’s Refusal to Address Constitutional Violations
Denver, CO – September 24, 2019 – Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) presented oral argument today in a federal appellate court in a case that has broad implications for the ability of city governments to restrict firearm ownership.
The case, Caldara v. City of Boulder, originated in May 2018, when MSLF sued the City of Boulder on behalf of Boulder residents, a local nonprofit, and a small business, after city council members raised the age of legal gun ownership in the city from 18 to 21. Council members also banned some of the most commonly owned firearms in the United States, as well as standard capacity magazines.
Plaintiffs include Jon Caldara, a well-known pillar of the community, the Boulder Rifle Club, Bison Tactical, a small business, and Tyler Faye, a member of the University of Colorado shooting team, and Mark Ringer, a part-time law enforcement officer and law student. MSLF’s clients seek to defend their rights and the rights of their fellow Boulder residents against the unconstitutional and discriminatory actions of the City of Boulder.
In a decision issued in August 2018, Judge Marcia S. Krieger of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado put an indefinite halt to the case. Instead of addressing the relevant federal constitutional issues, the court held that the State of Colorado should first decide, solely under Colorado law, whether the City of Boulder had the authority to enact sweeping new firearm and magazine regulations.
“The Tenth Circuit was particularly interested in the chilling effect that Boulder’s Ordinance may have on the exercise of Boulder residents’ fundamental rights,” said Cody Wisniewski, MSLF’s lead attorney on the case. ”We are hopeful that the Tenth Circuit will follow the Supreme Court’s refusal to abstain in cases such as this one and will allow us to have our day in court.”
Given recent opinions in Illinois and California, the outlook for courts stepping in to guard citizens’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms is looking favorable. MSLF is hopeful that the 10th Circuit will soon join this trend and vindicate Boulder residents’ constitutionally protected rights.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. Its offices are located outside Denver, Colorado.