Boulder City Council could vote Tuesday on banning 'assault' weapons

BOULDER, Colo. — The Boulder City Council could vote Tuesday night on a proposal to ban so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from city limits.

The city council is set to hold a third reading of the proposed ordinance during its regular meeting. After that, the city council could either vote on the ordinance or postpone it.

The idea has gotten a lot of support from groups like Mothers Demand Action but also a lot of pushback from gun owners.

Part of the debate circled around which weapons count as assault weapons.

The current version of the proposal reads in part, “Assault weapons are semi-automatic firearms designed with military features to allow rapid spray firing for the quick and efficient killing of humans.”

The proposed ordinance says assault weapons can be automatic or semi-automatic.

It goes on to say, “Assault weapons are civilian versions of military weapons.”

The ordinance does lay out some exceptions for who could legally own these types of weapons.

Anyone who legally owns an assault-style weapon in Boulder before June 15 would be allowed to keep them. However, they would have until December 31 to:

  • Get a background check
  • Obtain a certificate from the Boulder Police Department saying they own the weapon
  • Find a safe place to store the weapon
  • Only possess the weapon on their property or at a gun shop
  • Report theft within 48 hours

However, the owners who are grandfathered in to the ordinance would not be allowed to own a multi-burst trigger, high-capacity magazines or bump stocks. No one would be allowed to own those mechanisms under the proposal.

After June 15th, buying and selling these weapons is prohibited. Also, if a Boulder resident inherits the weapon from someone else that was grandfathered in, it will not be legal for the person who inherits the weapon. Instead, they would have 90 days to render it permanently inoperable, transfer it to a firearms dealer, permanently remove it from Boulder city limits or surrender it to the Boulder Police Department.

There are certain exceptions to all of these rules for law enforcement officers and a few others.

The proposal says, “This ordinance is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the city, and covers matters of local concern.”

If the ordinance is passed, owning one of these weapons would be considered a misdemeanor crime.

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