Weld County commissioners vote for anti-gun control ordinance

WELD COUNTY, Colo. - Weld County commissioners have given tentative approval to a local ordinance that prohibits the county from restricting residents' gun rights.

Two new state laws, signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in March, require background checks for private and online gun sales and limits ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.

If finalized, the Weld County code change would keep the board from enacting any ordinance that limits the ammunition capacity of a firearm magazine, requires background checks for owners of a firearm, charges a fee related to firearms, requires any specialized training related to firearms, limits the possession of a firearm to any specific class of person or limits where someone can carry a firearm in unincorporated parts of the county.

Commissioners crafted the code change because a group of residents were concerned the recently passed state legislation infringes on their right to bear arms.

"It was really a citizen initiated ordinance that came to us. Citizens were upset over some of the laws and so forth that have passed in Denver and are asking us to protect their second amendment rights," said Commissioner Mike Freeman. "We don't have the ability to overrule state law but as a home rule charter county, we do have more power than your normal, statutory counties."

Freeman said at least 30 citizens have asked the board to stop the current state legislation. 7NEWS asked residents in Weld County their thoughts on the issue, the majority of people agree with the ordinance saying it's about a person's freedom.

"I think that we should govern ourselves, we are different than the Denver-metro area out here in Wld County, and I'm all behind commissioners," resident Randy Mayer said.

The ordinance does not change the state law or stop state law from affecting Weld County residents. However, Weld County sheriff John Cooke has already said he refuses to enforce the new laws, saying they cannot be enforced.

The code change faces two more public hearings, on May 22 and June 10, before commissioners can finalize it.

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