Columnist Says He Won’t Comply with Colorado Town’s Gun Ban

Father of two could face arrest for keeping legally purchased gun

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A newspaper columnist and nonprofit president announced last week he would not comply with a gun ban ordinance passed in his Colorado hometown.

Jon Caldara, Denver Post columnist and Independence Institute president, published a video and column declaring he would not surrender his firearm despite a newly implemented Boulder regulation requiring him to do so.

"At the beginning of January I became a criminal in my tolerant hometown of Boulder," Caldara wrote for the Complete Colorado.

On Jan. 1, Boulder's ban on so-called assault weapons went into effect. Caldara said he is in violation of the law now because he owns a rifle with a pistol grip that accepts detachable magazines—a commonly owned style of rifle in the United States—and the city's ban makes possession illegal of it unless residents submit to police inspection and certification of their firearm. He said he is a law-abiding father of two who won't submit to police investigation and simply wants to be left alone by the city.

"I have never been convicted or even charged with a crime in my 54 years of life, but this week I became a criminal," he wrote. "I am no different than potentially thousands of other Boulderites who cannot bring themselves to submit to this ugliness. And yes, I know, most people today don't see this as ugly or intolerant, but simply a reasonable thing to do about this ‘epidemic.' After all, something needs to be done."

As a result of his public opposition to the ordinance, Caldara said his daughter has become the victim of bullying at school.

"For publicly stating that I will not comply, my daughter has been targeted at her Boulder school, the one with posters celebrating tolerance and diversity all over the walls," he wrote. "My refusal to submit has been commented on by teachers in front of their classes. She has been ganged up on by students and bullied because ‘her father is a murderer.' She is worried that I will be taken to jail. As a single dad to her and her handicapped brother, I have to admit I'm worried about that too."

Caldara is currently suing the city to try and have the ordinance thrown out as unconstitutional. He remains in jeopardy of arrest and prosecution as the case makes its way through the legal system. He is willing to go to jail over the gun ban but asked police to provide warning if they plan to arrest him so he can arrange care for his children.

"I respect the police, greatly," Caldara wrote. "The cops I know hate the idea of enforcing this intolerance. I ask them when they come to arrest me and confiscate my guns, they give me enough warning, so my kids aren't around when they do it."