Boulder May Soon Ban Sale And Possession Of 'Assault Weapons'

Apr 4, 2018

Update April 6, 2018: The Boulder City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban the sale and possession of so-called assault weapons. The Boulder Daily Camera reports nearly 150 people spoke for and against the proposal during a five-hour-long meeting Thursday evening.

"It was a respectful and informative meeting, which concluded around 11:30 p.m.," said city attorney Tom Car in a statement to KUNC. "Council decided not to begin deliberations at that time, because of the lateness of the hour. The council agenda committee will discuss scheduling the deliberations on Monday morning."

The measure still must be debated and passed twice more before it can become law.

If passed, it would not require people to turn over any weapons they already legally own. It would ban the sale or purchase of them after the effective date of April first.

The original story continues below.

Following similar moves in Denver and Vail, the Boulder City Council is looking at a proposed "assault weapons" ban. A special meeting Thursday evening will include time for public comments.

The ordinance would potentially ban the possession and sale - with some exceptions - of assault weapons, bump stocks and high capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The proposed ordinance (PDF) defines "assault weapons" as:

All semi-automatic rifles that have the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and that have any of the following characteristics: a pistol grip or thumbhole stock; a folding or telescoping stock; or any protruding grip or other device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.

All semi-automatic center-fire pistols that have any of the following characteristics: the capacity to accept a magazine other than in the pistol grip or any device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.

Any firearm which has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon as defined by the city, plus any part or combination or parts designed to convert a firearm into an assault weapon.

"The council's concern and specific instruction was that they are not trying to affect lawful gun owners in Boulder," said city attorney Tom Carr, who authored the ordinance. "They are trying to do something that raises some level of protection for the kids in our town."

Councilwoman Jill Adler Grano proposed the idea of a ban for consideration following the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida in February. The law Carr has drafted is based, in part, on a probe of existing laws in Colorado and in discussion with the Giffords Law Center.

Carr said the intention is not to infringe on anyone's rights.

"Several council members are gun owners," he said. "They are not trying to affect the Second Amendment rights of the community. What they are trying to do is limit the ability of someone who wants to commit a horrendous act to easily get a gun in Boulder."

Boulder's police chief Greg Testa told the Daily Camera he would support the ban. The law would not require people to turn over any weapons they already legally own. It would ban the sale or purchase of them after the effective date of April 1.

The special meeting of the city council will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Boulder Municipal Building. It will also be broadcast live on Boulder Channel 8 and online.