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BOULDER, Colo. – Boulder is moving forward with plans to enact an ordinance that would ban so-called “assault” weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines in the city.
The city council voted unanimously in favor of the ban during its first reading Thursday night. The council will continue to discuss the issue and is likely to vote on it at least one more time before the ordinance is enacted.
More than 150 people signed up to speak at Thursday night’s council meeting, voicing opinions in favor and opposed to the ban.
“I feel that banning assault rifles entirely is taking it too far, particularly I'm bothered by the registration aspect of it,” one speaker said, referencing a proposal that people who already own assault weapons would have to register them with Boulder police.
A young woman who was in favor of the ban spoke about how students and teachers often live in fear of gun violence.
“My class time is eaten up by the fact that there’s a very real fear a person with a firearm will enter my school to harm myself and my peers,” she said.
The measure was proposed by Boulder City Councilwoman Jill Grano just days after the Marjory Stone Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida.
Another speaker brought up homicide statistics to support his argument that guns aren't the real problem.
"[There are] 19 times more handgun homicides than rifles," he said. "There are four times as many homicides by knives than by rifles. This is FBI statistics."
Currently, there are two businesses in Boulder that sell the products that the council is considering for a ban, according to a city council agenda on the ordinance.
While Boulder begins the discussion on an assault weapons ban, Denver has had one in place since 1989. Grano said they will use Denver as a starting point, but she hopes to create a stricter policy.
But while the City of Denver recently enacted a ban on bump stocks, Denver police say zero have actually been turned in.
Boulder Police Chief Greg Testa said last month he would support a ban on assault rifles.
The University of Colorado Police Department, the other police department that operates within city limits, did not take a stance on the issue.