August 9, 2022 – The Town of Superior, Colorado enacted Ordinance No. O-9-2022 on June 7, 2022, which established comprehensive regulations regarding the possession and use of weapons within the town.  Among other things, the Ordinance banned the possession, sale, and transfer of “assault weapons,” which it defines based on a features test, within the town effective July 1, 2022.  Persons who lawfully possessed an “assault weapon” prior to July 1, 2022, could obtain a certificate allowing them to continue to possess it, subject to various restrictions.  The Ordinance also generally banned the open carry of firearms.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and other plaintiffs challenged the Ordinance in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, arguing that the ban on “assault weapons” and open carry violates the Second Amendment.  Plaintiffs requested injunctive relief and filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prohibit enforcement of the Ordinance while their challenge was pending.  Based on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, Judge Moore granted plaintiffs’ motion in part and issued a temporary restraining order on July 22, 2022.  The court held the plaintiffs were likely to be successful on their argument that the provision in the Ordinance banning the possession and sale of “assault weapons” violates the Second Amendment and therefore entered a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the ban pending a hearing on the request for a preliminary injunction.  It noted that based on the Bruendecision, the Town must justify its “assault weapons” ban “by demonstrating that [the restrictions are] consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”  
The court referenced statistics showing that during the period from 1990 to 2012, the “number of AR- and AK- style weapons [which are banned by the Ordinance] manufactured and imported into the United States was more than double the number of the most commonly sold vehicle in the U.S., the Ford F-150.”  Judge Moore stated that he is “unaware of historical precedent that would permit a governmental entity to entirely ban a type of weapon that is commonly used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, whether in an individual’s home or in public.”  The court therefore concluded that there is a strong likelihood that plaintiffs will be successful on the merits in establishing that the “assault weapons” ban violates the Second Amendment.  The court did allow the general ban on “open carry” to remain in effect pending a hearing on the request for a preliminary injunction, primarily because the Ordinance allows persons to carry firearms concealed with a valid license, and therefore, the law only regulates the manner of bearing firearms.
A hearing on the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction had been scheduled for August 4, 2022, but was adjourned to November 8, 2022, at the Town’s request.  The Town agreed to the temporary restraining order remaining in effect until the court rules on the request for a preliminary injunction.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor gun control legislation and court challenges to those laws throughout the United States.  If you have any questions, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.