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Rocky Mountain Gun Owners sues town of Superior, says gun laws are unconstitutional

In June, Superior voted to ban assault weapons, “large capacity” ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and trigger activators.

SUPERIOR, Colo. — Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), a far-right gun rights group based in Colorado, has sued the town of Superior and Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

The federal lawsuit, filed Thursday, says the town's firearms and magazine regulations are unconstitutional and violate the rights of RMGO members who live there.

A Colorado law approved in 2021, after the deadly shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder, gave local governments in Colorado the power to pass gun regulations that are tougher than state laws.

In June, Superior voted to ban assault weapons, “large capacity” ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and trigger activators. According to RMGO, the policy conflicts with residents' Second Amendment rights to bear arms in public. RMGO cites the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down a New York gun law passed in 1913 that required people to prove a need for carrying a handgun in public.

“We affirm that standard capacity magazines and semi-automatic rifles are protected under the Second Amendment, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that owning and carrying firearms is an individual, incorporated, and enumerated right. Superior’s anti-gun ordinance is historically and constitutionally bankrupt," Taylor Rhodes with RMGO said.

"Frankly, last month’s Bruen decision [on the New York law] gave gun rights organizations a 4-ton wrecking ball to dismantle gun laws that we have known to be unconstitutional since their conception. If you think this stops in the small town of Superior, you are mistaken; this has the potential to hold much broader implications."

Christopher Jackson, an attorney in Denver who practices constitutional law, said this lawsuit by RMGO is likely the beginning of an avalanche of litigation because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. 

"The question is all about the text of the Second Amendment and what the historical understanding of gun regulations was in the 18th century," Jackson said. "Before courts had looked at things like the interest of public safety and the interest the government had in regulating firearms and the U.S. Supreme Court has said those kinds of interests don’t matter."

Jackson said the gun rights group has a stronger argument in this case because of the Bruen decision. 

Superior Mayor Clint Folsom said on Thursday the town didn't have a comment because they haven't had a chance to review the lawsuit. 

Superior approved these rules at the same time neighboring municipalities -- Boulder, Lafayette and Louisville -- passed similar gun regulations of their own.

The goal was to create similar laws across Boulder County. 

According to Jackson, gun control measures in other municipalities in Boulder County are also likely to be found unconstitutional if the courts side with RMGO. He said separate lawsuits might have to be filed, but if the federal court in Colorado has said Superior's regulations are unconstitutional, then it is very likely other courts will follow suit.

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