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Colorado city passes 'assault weapons' ban — with some exceptions
Boulder, Colorado, passed a ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons despite protests from some community members. The ordinance will go into effect June 15. (Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images)

Colorado city passes 'assault weapons' ban — with some exceptions

A Colorado city has passed a ban on the sale and possession of so-called "assault weapons," despite protests in recent weeks by gun rights advocates, KUSA-TV reported.

The Boulder City Council unanimously voted for the ordinance, which will go into effect June 15. Still, some council members expressed concerns over the measure.

"I don't agree with this ordinance in many ways," Councilwoman Mirabai Nagle said during Tuesday night's meeting, according to the Daily Camera. "It's not perfect; I think we're going to spend a lot of time and money."

About the ban

The ban will make it illegal to possess, sell or otherwise transfer "semiautomatic firearms designed with military features to allow rapid spray firing for the quick and efficient killing of humans" after June 15.

People who legally possessed assault weapons before June 15 have four options:

  • Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the city of Boulder;
  • Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable;
  • Surrender the assault weapon or large-capacity magazine to the Boulder Police Department for destruction; or
  • If eligible, obtain a certificate for the assault weapon as provided in subsection (c).

"Subsection (c)" provides an avenue for legal owners of assault weapons before June 15 to get a certification from local law enforcement by submitting to a background check, securely storing the weapon, and only possessing it on their own property, on the premises of a gunsmith, or on a licensed firing range, or while traveling to or from one of those locations.

What now?

With the passage of the overall ban, the council is likely to consider future amendments down the road, such as raising the minimum age for firearm purchases to 21 from 18.

The Mountain States Legal Foundation has announced its intention to challenge the ban in court, saying it violates the Second, Fifth and 14th Amendments, as well as the Colorado Constitution.

Still, some in Boulder are celebrating the ban as a potential sign of things to come.

"My hope is that we will see more bans at the state level and one day at the federal level so these weapons will no longer be available," Councilman Aaron Brockett said.

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