Boulder County adopts new gun control ordinances, including assault weapons ban

Changes range from increasing the age limit to purchase a firearm, to extending the waiting period after purchase.

Updated: August 3, 2022 - 9:36pm

Boulder County commissioners unanimously adopted five new gun control ordinances on Tuesday.

The new ordinances range from increasing the age limit to purchase a firearm, to extending the waiting period after purchase, and outlawing assault weapons and “large capacity” magazines.

Each ordinance went into effect immediately after passage.

“These ordinances are for all of us who have been hurt by gun violence, either directly or indirectly, and provide examples of what other communities and our State can do to address gun violence in this country,” said Marta Loachamin, who chairs the Boulder County Board of Commissioners.

Ordinance 2022-02 increases the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 years old. Violating the ordinance carries a misdemeanor penalty, a $1,000 fine, and up to a year in jail, according to its text.

Commissioners also voted to extend the waiting period between the purchase and issuance of a firearm up to 10 days. This ordinance also requires licensed firearm dealers to receive approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations before approving the transfer or sale.

The board also passed ordinances that restrict the ability of residents to carry firearms in "sensitive" public places, regulate unserialized firearms, and prohibit the sale of assault weapons and "large capacity" magazines, which are defined as carrying 15 rounds of ammunition or more.

“These ordinances are common sense gun violence laws designed to help keep people safe," Commissioner Matt Jones said. "With each mass shooting or tragic gun death we read or hear about, we feel more motivated than ever to take action in the absence of federal or state protections. As we work to legislate for change, we remember those who lost their lives in our own community at the King Soopers in Boulder, and those more recently and further afield in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.”

The ordinances come as the National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR) is suing Gov. Jared Polis in federal court to overturn the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines.

NFGR previously sued the town of Superior to stop the enforcement of its new restrictions on the sale of assault weapons. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against the ordinance on July 26, Colorado Public Radio reported.

“The early wins in Superior are a telltale sign of what is to come not only in Colorado but around the entire country,” Taylor Rhodes, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, an affiliate of NFGR, said about the ruling.

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