Colorado lawmakers consider giving cities authority over gun laws

A shooter gunned down 10 people at a supermarket on Monday

The Colorado state senator serving Boulder reportedly said he’s drafting a bill that would repeal a 2003 law that bans cities from enacting gun laws that supersede state laws, a day after 10 people were gunned down at a Boulder supermarket.

State Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Democrat, told the Denver Post that lawmakers had discussed repealing the law over the last week in the Democrat-controlled legislature but those discussions "accelerated" after the fatal shooting.

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"I didn’t know how relevant and timely it was until yesterday," Fenberg told the newspaper. "It’s not like if the city of Boulder had had that ban in effect, that this wouldn’t have happened. But it doesn’t mean it’s not a relevant conversation and tool that communities should have."

Fenberg added he’d make sure repealing the law wouldn’t lead to local gun laws that are looser than the state’s, the Post reported.

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In a statement posted to Twitter after the shooting Monday, Fenberg wrote, "Tragically, this is something that too many communities have gone through. No doubt we will get through this as a community. But tonight there's going to be a lot of pain for a lot of people. I'm sorry, but I don't have thoughts or prayers to offer; mostly anger."

Gun control is a highly partisan issue in Colorado and some Republican lawmakers have criticized Democrats' efforts in the wake of the shooting. 

Gun advocate U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., wrote on Twitter that no law would have stopped the shooter. "Big government gun grabs are not the answer to the issue of violence in our nation." 

The suspect, identified as  Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, entered a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder Monday afternoon and allegedly shot and killed 10 people with a Ruger AR-556 that he had just purchased days earlier.

Just days before the shooting, a Boulder judge ruled that the city can’t enforce its ban on assault-style weapons because of the 2003 law, which says, "A local government may not enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law."

Boulder officials have said they may appeal the district court ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court.

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Two other gun control bills that would add restrictions to gun storage and require reporting a lost or stolen gun are likely to pass the statehouse this year, The Post reported.