Routt County Commissioners won’t pursue adding local gun measures |

Routt County Commissioners won’t pursue adding local gun measures

The Routt County Board of Commissioners will not pursue additional gun regulations locally, the board said in a statement on Wednesday, July 27.

The statement comes as some local residents have pressured commissioners to draft county gun regulations with authority given to local governments by a 2021 bill passed by the Colorado Legislature.

But the commissioners statement says a recent Supreme Court opinion “likely curtails the viability of any meaningful regulations,” and anything they could do would only have effect in county facilities and unincorporated areas beyond the jurisdiction of municipalities.

“We are painfully aware of the tragic toll that escalating gun violence has on this country, and we agree with many emails and phone calls we have received from Routt County Residents who would like to see common sense actions taken in response to this national tragedy,” the statement reads.

“We are also cognizant of the fact that, regardless of party affiliation, the views of individuals in our community with regard to gun regulations and rights of gun owners differ greatly,” it continues.

Following a mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers in 2021, the Colorado Legislature passed SB 21-256, which declares regulation of firearms as a state and local matter and empowers local government to install their own regulations.

But a recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen has muddied this authority.

The Supreme Court invalidated a New York state law requiring people to have “proper-cause” to obtain an unrestricted license to carry a concealed firearm, with the court’s majority ruling the requirement puts an undue burden on law-abiding citizens looking to obtain a weapon for self-defense, according to court watcher

“We have spent time with our legal staff reviewing the authorities for local government granted by Colorado SB21-256 and the recent Supreme Court majority opinion,” the statement says. “We will continue to research and consider this important issue, and we will inform the public on an ongoing basis.”

On May 24, an 18-year old murdered 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — the second deadliest school shooting in United States history, according to the Texas Tribune.

This tragedy followed another at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket where a white shooter gunned down 10 Black shoppers on May 19 in a racist massacre that has resulted in federal hate crime charges punishable by the death penalty, according to National Public Radio.

On July 4 in Highland Park, Illinois, a shooter killed eight people and injured 29 more that were attending a community parade celebrating America’s Independence, according to the Associated Press.

Since the Uvalde shooting — a span of 64 days — the Gun Violence Archive reports 138 people have been killed and another 694 have been injured in mass shootings, which are defined by a shooting where four or more people are shot.

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