Jon Caldera’s Noisy Defiance of Boulder’s Gun Ban is Costing Him

Jan. 7, 2019
by Bob Adelmann

When the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a law banning possession of “assault” rifles, large magazines, and “bump stocks” last May, they likely knew it wouldn’t go down well with the pro-gun crowd. What they didn’t know was that they would be setting off a firestorm by pushing around the wrong guy: Jon Caldera.

As this writer noted here last month, Caldera, a popular radio show host and head of Denver’s Independence Institute, told the Boulder pols to take a hike:

My hometown of Boulder is about to define me as a criminal if I do not disarm or move.

Let this column [which appeared in the Denver Post] serve as public notice: I will not comply….

Let it be known, like those who refused to go to the back of the bus, I will not surrender or destroy my guns, nor will I place my name on the government watch list.

Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge. First, the law has turned out to be unenforceable. There are an estimated 150,000 “offending” firearms owned by Boulder’s citizens, and under the law they were granted a “grandfather clause”: take those firearms to the local sheriff and get a permission slip (a “certification” that the firearm was owned prior to the ban). Pay a fee, undergo a background check, and you’re free to leave. If caught with one of the offending firearms, however, the penalty is stiff: a fine of up to $1,000 and (not or) 90 days in jail.

Those citizens had until December 27 to “certify” them. By December 1, 85 “certs” had been granted. By January 3, the number had jumped to 87.

Second, the day after the law was enacted, Caldera joined with the Boulder Rifle Club, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, and some other pro-gun groups to file suit to block the new law. The suit claimed all manner of legal and constitutional grounds supporting their position:

On May 15, 2018, the Boulder City Council voted 9 – 0 to approve Ordinance 8245, banning some of the most popular firearms and magazines in use by law-abiding citizens across the United States. In addition, Ordinance 8245 raised the age for legal firearm purchase and possession from eighteen to twenty-one years of age. Upon passage, Ordinance 8245 immediately became law in the City of Boulder, thereby infringing upon the rights of all of Boulder’s 108,707 residents. 

Ordinance 8245 and the actions of Defendants violate multiple provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including Article VI, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ordinance 8245 and the actions of Defendants violate multiple provisions of the Colorado State Constitution, including Article 2, section 3 and Article 2, section 13.

Ordinance 8245 and the actions of Defendants violate multiple Colorado State Statutes, including C.R.S. §§ 29-11.7-102 and 29-11.7-103.

The lawsuit, filed with the help of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, gave a hint of what was to come:

Plaintiffs intend and desire to continue to acquire, possess, use, sell, and/or transfer the lawfully-owned, constitutionally-protected firearms and magazines that are banned by Ordinance 8245, but justifiably fear punishment if they do.

Translation: Molon labe! (Come and take them!)


Jon Caldera has taken a stand in the new civil war. Don’t  be fooled by the fact that it is mostly a cold war so far. It is a war. The political left has declared it, and it is against the republic instituted 230 years ago and the culture that gave it birth. The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor is a subscription newsletter that has been published for four decades. It examines this culture war monthly. You can get excerpts from this insightful letter in your email inbox each week FREE! Sign up here without obligation or risk.


Caldera was just getting warmed up. Although he has not received notice from the BPD that he is out of compliance with the new law, he is using his freedom under the First Amendment to express his contempt for those who would infringe on his rights. He wrote:

I’ve lived in Boulder since 1984, believe it or not. I have roots there. I was a columnist for the paper, I represented them in elected office on the RTD board, I started a business there, and my late daughter’s body lies in a cemetery there. I’ve got a plot next to her for when my time comes. Boulder’s my home.

[The ordinance] goes against everything Boulder claims to stand for. This is an attack on a political minority that the Boulder elite finds dirty, ignorant, and dangerous. The message is pretty clear: ‘We don’t want your type in our lily-white, elitist town, so we will bully you out. We will separate you. We will force you to self-identify. You have to pay to go to the police and get a permission slip and be on a watch list just because of who you are and what we believe.’ That’s hateful, and it’s bigotry.

Caldera couldn’t resist the temptation to contrast how he’s being treated as a gun owner with how he would be welcomed by Boulder if he were a Muslim:

This is about civil rights. If a group of people with what some people think of as a very dangerous belief structure came into town wearing hijabs, Boulder would bend over backwards to welcome them and make them feel safe. Not so for people with a belief structure like mine….

[Muslins] would never be subjected to such restrictions. [They] would never be forced to self-identify to government authorities, to submit to inspection, to be registered and made to pay fees to keep [their] core beliefs. My strong belief in my Second Amendment rights is core to who I am.

Which is why Caldera and his family are being subjected to bullying, shouting, and threats: he no longer fits into the culture of a city that is now being run by tyrants and elitists who consider the Second Amendment and the Colorado Constitution’s protection of precious rights as a threat to their worldview.

That worldview, distinct from the real world, was expressed by one of the members of the Boulder city council, Sam Weaver. Weaver claims to be a gun owner, but supported the law because he was against “weapons that are intended to kill people efficiently.” He goes on to say that shootings like the one in 2016 at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub are “particularly insidious for people who inhabit public spaces but [who] don’t carry weapons themselves.”

Translation: Weaver thinks it’s better to disarm law-abiding gun owners rather than encourage those who are defenseless to take up arms.

Caldera is paying a price for taking a stand:

I have a fifteen-year old daughter who’s already been bullied about this at school. She’s been yelled at; she’s been called a murderer.

My son has Down syndrome so he doesn’t understand this, but my daughter doesn’t want me to go to jail.

I’m concerned about the people I love being taunted because we’re a political minority.

But Caldera isn’t backing down, and he isn’t moving out of Boulder. He can’t wait for the ruling that declares Boulder’s elitists’ move to violate his rights unconstitutional. They will shortly learn that they picked on the wrong guy to push around.

----------------------------

Sources:

The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor: Jon Caldera, Freedom Activist, Defies Boulder’s Gun Ban

Watchdog.org: Second Amendment advocates fight back against Boulder’s gun ban and certification ordinance

Westword.com: Claim by Caldera: Boulder Assault Weapons Ban Forces Gun Owners Into the Closet

The lawsuit: Jon Caldara, et. al., v. City of Boulder, et. al.

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