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Boulder considers assault weapons ban

Posted at 10:28 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 08:56:12-05

BOULDER, Colo. — In the wake of a Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead, the city of Boulder is considering a ban on so-called assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.

"The federal government is not taking action on an issue I feel is really important," said Jill Grano, a Boulder City Councilwoman who proposed the ban at Tuesday's city council meeting. "And it's up to states and municipalities to be leaders in gun control."

Grano said the council would hash out details about what weapons would be banned under the proposal and how it would be enforced.

 "I recognize that those are sort of catch-all terms," said Grano. "I hope that we'll include any sort of semi-automatic weapon in our definition of assault weapons, but we will be seeking advice from our city attorney and his staff on what’s legally defensible." 

At Tuesday's meeting, the council gave approval to begin the process of writing a ban ordinance. The council plans to hold public hearings and a possible special council session in the coming months.

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.

Even at the Federal level, the tide may be turning. When asked about an assault weapons ban today, the White House Press Secretary said, "We haven't closed the door on any front."  Also Tuesday, President Trump pushed for a federal ban on bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago, I signed a memorandum directing the Attorney General to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns," said Trump.

But in Florida, where 17 people were killed at a high school last week, lawmakers just voted against considering an assault rifle and high-capacity magazine ban.

In Colorado, Republicans are working to repeal the high-capacity magazine ban that went into effect after the Aurora Theater Shooting.

Also, while the City of Denver recently enacted a ban on bump stocks, Denver police say zero have actually been turned in.

Even in Boulder, there is a gun store a couple of blocks from the high school that sells semi-automatic weapons. The owner did not wish to comment on the proposed ban, but Grano said that needs to change.

"We need to start somewhere, and I hope that there is a domino effect from here," said Grano.