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Boulder County, Colo. Bans Assault Weapons, Among Other Restrictions

Written by Orchid


August 03, 2022


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This week, Boulder County (Colo.) Commissioners approved a package of “gun violence protection” ordinances that will ban assault weapons in the county. The ordinances will also prohibit the purchase of firearms to those under 21 years of age, require a waiting period for firearm transactions, limit locations where firearms may be carried concealed, and regulate unserialized frames and receivers.

After failing to pass a similar assault weapon ban in 2018, when the measure was challenged under a state pre-emptive law that prohibited cities and counties in Colorado from passing gun laws at the local level, state lawmakers passed a law (CO SB21-256) in 2021 that allowed local regulation of firearms.

Boulder County now joins Denver County in banning assault weapons in the state. Denver’s law was enacted in 1989.

A summary of each of the five ordinances is below:

Prohibiting the Purchase of Firearms by Anyone Under the Age of 21 (Ordinance No. 2022-2)

  • No person under the age of 21 shall purchase a firearm
  • Does not apply to law enforcement or military members

Requiring a Waiting Period Prior to the Sale of Firearms (Ordinance No. 2022-3)

  • Establishes a 10-day waiting period from date of dealer-initiated Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) background check and CBI approval
  • Does not apply to law enforcement, military members, FFLs, gunsmiths, private security or common carriers requiring firearms

Prohibiting the Carrying of Firearms in Sensitive Public Places (Ordinance No. 2022-4)

  • Prohibits open and concealed carry in county government owned and operated buildings, public parks and community centers, within 500 feet of any polling location or ballot box, facilities licensed to sell alcohol, healthcare facilities, mental health facilities, places of worship, stadiums and arenas, courthouses, financial institutions, theaters, day cares and grocery stores.
  • Notice of prohibition shall be posted conspicuously at all public entrances
  • Does not apply to law enforcement, military members, private security, or within public vehicles

Prohibiting the Sale and Purchase Of Assault Weapons, Large Capacity Magazines, And Trigger Activators (Ordinance No. 2022-5)

  • Prohibits persons, corporations and other entities in the county from manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling and transferring assault weapons, large-capacity magazines, and rapid-fire trigger activators
  • Defines “assault weapon” as the following:
    • Semiautomatic center-fire rifle with capacity to accept detachable magazine and has one or more of the following characteristics:
      • Pistol grip or thumbhold stock
      • Protruding grip
      • Folding or telescoping stock
      • Flash suppressor
      • Shroud attached to barrel
    • Semiautomatic center-fire pistol with capacity to accept detachable ammunition feeding device and any one of the following:
        • Threaded barrel
        • Second pistol grip or protruding grip
        • Shroud attached to the barrel
        • Flash suppressor
        • Capacity to accept detachable ammunition feeding device outside of pistol grip
        • Manufactured weight greater than 50 oz. unloaded
        • Buffer tube, arm brace, or horizontal protrusion behind grip
    • Semiautomatic center-fire pistol with fixed magazine and capacity greater than 10 rounds
    • Semiautomatic shotgun that has one or more of the following features:
      • Pistol grip or thumbhole stock
      • Protruding grip
      • Folding or telescoping stock
      • Fixed magazine capacity greater than 5 rounds
      • Ability to accept detachable magazine.
    • Any firearm modified to be operable as an assault weapon
    • Any part or combination of parts used to convert a firearm into an assault weapon
  • Defines “large-capacity magazine” as any ammunition feeding device with greater than 10 rounds
  • Defines “rapid-fire trigger activator” as any device constructed so that when installed in a semiautomatic firearm the rate at which the trigger is activated substantially increases, or the rate of fire substantially increases
  • Does not apply to military members, manufacturers for law enforcement and military, or gunsmiths

Regulate the Possession of Unfinished Frames and Receivers, and Unserialized Firearms (Ordinance No. 2022-6)

  • Prohibits possession of unserialized firearms
  • Does not apply to law enforcement, FFLs, antique firearms, or firearms manufacturerd before October 22, 1968

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