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New lawsuit challenges Colorado's high-capacity magazine ban in wake of Supreme Court's expansion of

Supreme Court’s expansion of gun rights
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners files new Second Amendment challenge in federal court
An organization of gun owners mounted a new legal challenge to Colorado’s nearly decade-old ban on large-capacity magazines Thursday, citing a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last month that was seen as a major expansion of gun rights.

The National Foundation for Gun Rights, the legal arm of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, sued Gov. Jared Polis in U.S. District Court in Denver, asking a federal judge to strike down as unconstitutional the state’s 2013 ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition, enacted in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting.

The Colorado Supreme Court in 2020 unanimously upheld the ban, ruling in a lawsuit brought by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in state court that the prohibition does not violate residents’ right to bear arms as guaranteed by the state Constitution.

But with the new challenge — this time in federal court — Rocky Mountain Gun Owners cite last month’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen ruling, which found a gun-permitting law in New York violated the Second Amendment. The majority interpreted the Second Amendment as protecting people’s rights to carry a gun for self-defense outside the home.

The language in Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion heightened concerns that state gun-control laws across the country, from setting age limits on firearm purchases to banning high-capacity magazines, may now be in jeopardy.

“In last month’s landmark Bruen decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected ‘intermediate scrutiny’ — the cost/benefit analysis framework that allowed lower courts to rule against the Second Amendment — and established that the standard for applying the Second Amendment is the text, history and tradition of the right to keep and bear arms; thereby, invalidating the lower court rulings’ justification for gun control,” Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said in its announcement of the lawsuit.

A spokesman for Polis said the governor’s office does not comment on pending litigation.

The state lawsuit names as plaintiffs Benjamin Gates and Travis Swartz, describing the pair as Colorado residents and “law-abiding citizens of the United States.” The pair currently own magazines that are capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition.


Judge grants gun ownership group restraining order against Superior

A U.S. District Court judge on Friday issued the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners a temporary restraining order preventing the town of Superior from enforcing its recently enacted ordinance against certain types of assault weapons.

The ordinance, passed in June, also limits the possession and discharge of firearms, the possession and sale of illegal weapons, and the carrying of concealed weapons.

In a statement released on social media Friday, the RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes called the temporary restraining order “a massive win for gun rights in the State of Colorado.” The gun ownership group is also suing the town.


The U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling in June overturned a New York State law requiring that gun owners show “proper cause” to get a license to carry a concealed firearm in public.

Although the district court found the “balance of harm and the public interest” was in favor of denying the restraining order, stating “the government has a substantial interest in protecting the public in general, and in this case it has apparently sought to do so by ensuring that anyone who openly carries a weapon in the Town of Superior does so only having received the appropriate license,” Judge Raymond Moore granted the restraining order due to the gun owner group establishing “a likelihood of prevailing on the merits” of their case against the town.

The court noted several additional standards the group’s motion did not meet, denying and deferring additional parts of their request, with a preliminary injunction hearing set for Aug. 4 in Denver.


Rochester police investigator suspended after handcuffing Black EMT at hospital, department says

(CNN)A Rochester, New York, police investigator has been suspended with pay after he was seen on surveillance video pushing a Black EMT and handcuffing her at a hospital early last week, according to Carlos Alvarado, a spokesperson for the police department.

Police announced the suspension earlier this week, updating a statement Rochester Police Chief David Smith made last week that called the July 11 incident "deeply concerning" and said he has "high expectations for all members of the Rochester Police Department."
"As a result of this interaction at Strong Hospital, I have directed our Professional Standards Section to initiate an internal investigation," Smith said.
In surveillance video obtained by Rochester television station WHEC, the police investigator can be seen moving towards EMT Lekia Smith inside the hospital, and then pushing her against a wall next to a gurney carrying a patient. The investigator then is seen turning the EMT around and putting her in handcuffs before leading her outside.

Attorney Elliott Shields told CNN that his client is an EMT with Monroe Ambulance. When she and her partner pulled up to the hospital, the investigator's police car was parked very close to the ambulance. When Smith opened her door, she "made contact with the police vehicle," Shields said.
The investigator "immediately comes over to her and yells at her, demands her ID," Shields said. His client told the investigator that she would give him her ID as soon as they transport the patient inside the hospital for treatment, he added.


Arrest warrant issued after Tina Peters violates bond, again

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — For the second time this month, a Mesa County judge has signed off on a warrant for the arrest of embattled former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

Peters is accused of violating the conditions of her bond again, this time because she violated the conditions of a protection order.

According to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant, Brandi Bantz, who is now the Director of Elections for the Mesa County Clerk’s Office as Peters faces election interference allegations, told law enforcement she received an email from Peters around 2:44 a.m. on Wednesday.

Peters has an active restraining order that bars her from contacting anyone in the Clerk and Recorder Office.

According to the affidavit, the email from Peters to Bantz and several other people said, “I know you have already by now been advised by the Secretary of State regarding a recount. I am, as a candidate with standing, going forward with that request in select counties. If you have not already been notified, and if you are on the list of those counties for a hand recount, you will be notified to coordinate the day/time that is mutually agreed upon.”


Indiana Mall Gunman Appears to Have Posted Plans on 4chan

Police have told VICE News they are familiar with the posts and are investigating.

Hours before a 20-year-old gunman opened fire on a food court in a suburban mall near Indianapolis on Sunday, he appears to have posted a grim message on the notorious imageboard site 4chan.

“Name is jonathan and today seems like a good day to die,” he wrote. The post was accompanied by a colorized image of a wedding in Nazi Germany. He also shared a link to the image-hosting site Imgur, which contained several images of himself wearing a white button-down shirt, blue jeans, a face-covering, and posing with two AR-15-style rifles, a handgun, and multiple magazines.

That post was shared on July 17 at 1:13 p.m. (the site lists no time zone) to the website’s /BANT board—which is its International/Random board. Just before 6 p.m. local time the gunman, identified as Jonathan Sapirman, walked out of the Greenwood Park Mall’s food court restrooms armed with the same type and number of weapons as seen in the photo and began shooting into the crowd with an assault rifle (specifically, a Sig Sauer model M400 5.56). He killed three people and injured two more. Less than 30 seconds after his rampage began, a civilian shot him dead from over 40 yards away with a handgun.

Police have not yet identified any clear motive in the attack. At a press conference Monday, they said the shooter had left his laptop in a heated oven, alongside a can of butane, and submerged his cellphone in the toilet. Police did not speculate on the reasons the shooter did this but said investigators were trying to acquire as much information from the damaged devices as they could. The FBI took the damaged laptop to their lab in Quantico for further analysis. Police told VICE News that they were familiar with the comments and images purportedly posted by the gunman prior to the attack.


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

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."

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