Earlier this year, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation repealing the state’s firearm preemption law and giving localities the green light to implement their own gun control ordinances. So far most communities have been reluctant to do so, though there’s been talk in Boulder about re-instating the ban on so-called assault weapons that was thrown out by a judge earlier this year before Polis signed the preemption repeal into law.
There are some folks in Boulder, however, who apparently think that reinstating a ban on modern sporting rifles goes far enough. Even worse, they’re running for office.
On Sunday afternoon during a virtual forum, several of Boulder’s City Council candidates answered a wide range of questions on gun safety, workers’ rights, and other issues.
The forum was hosted by the Colorado branch of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), a political organization which bills itself as a grassroots organization aiming to revitalize the Democratic party. On the PDA’s website, it states, “We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites—with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests.”
… The four candidates of the “progressive coalition,” Matt Benjamin, Lauren Folkerts, Nicole Speer, and Dan Williams, all attended the forum. They were joined by two other candidates: Jacques Decalo and Tara Winer.
When asked about gun control, Benjamin and Williams both spoke in support of reinstating Boulder’s assault weapons ban, which was struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court earlier this year. Benjamin also talked about investing in mental health services. Williams mentioned a ban for concealed carry, which was met with a thumbs up from Benjamin.
“That should be something we can get close to consensus on,” Williams commented.
That’s an awfully regressive idea for people who call themselves “progressive.” It’s also going to run into big legal troubles, regardless of any preemption issues. Even the most anti-gun cities in the country allow for concealed carry, though they can make it impossible for the average person to obtain a license. In Colorado, however, licenses are issued by county sheriffs, not city officials, so there’s nothing that Boulder could do to prevent residents from obtaining a license to carry.
What about an outright ban on carrying inside the city limits? I don’t think that would fly either. In the Heller decision the Supreme Court mentioned that carry bans in “sensitive places” would likely be upheld under the Second Amendment, implying that a ban on carrying in non-sensitive places would violate the right to bear arms. Soon the Court will provide even more clarity on the issue when it takes up the challenge to New York’s carry laws next month, and given that the right to bear arms is co-equal to the right to keep them in their home, I don’t think we’re going to see SCOTUS declare that the right to carry simply doesn’t exist.
Yet in Boulder, progressives are proclaiming that we should be able to find consensus in the idea that the right to bear arms is really a privilege that can be banned by the whims of the City Council. I am kind of curious about what Williams thinks should happen to people caught carrying a firearm, given that he believes police are already too busy harassing people for non-violent offenses.
“We need a police department that is focused on responding to property crime and violent crime,” Williams said. “And what we don’t need, in my view, is a police department that’s responding to all sorts of different problems, from nuisance complaints on the Hill to people spending time by Boulder Creek drinking or engaging in other behaviors that are citeable as offenses, but really this isn’t a solution that’s going to solve the problem.”
Do you think Williams sees the contradiction in complaining about law enforcement spending too much time on minor offenses while at the same time wanting them to start issuing citations and arrests for all those who are simply carrying a firearm for self-defense? Yeah, me neither.
Given the far-left politics in Boulder, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Williams and other opponents of the right to carry win their elections this November, and their anti-gun zealotry should be a reminder to gun owners everywhere that no matter how much the gun control lobby talks about “common sense gun safety regulations,” what they really desire is to destroy the Second Amendment completely. Thanks to the Democrats’ destruction of firearms preemption in Colorado, we may see far-left cities like Boulder try to do just that in the not-too-distant future.