Fear & Loading: Only 342 Guns “Certified” in Boulder

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posted on January 10, 2019
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 Only 342 guns have been inspected and certified by the Boulder, Colo., Police Department, despite a new city ordinance that required residents to do so before Jan. 1 to retain legal possession of those that fall under the municipality’s definition of “assault weapon.” The seemingly low number for a city of more than 100,000 was confirmed this week, and authorities there volunteered the fact that the figure reflects firearms, rather than the number of owners who complied—many people brought in more than one.

The Boulder Police Department’s website explains guns that fall under the new law include any “Semi-automatic center fire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and that have any of the following characteristics: A pistol grip or thumbhole stock; A folding or telescopic stock; Any protruding grip or other device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.”

The city council’s unanimous vote in May didn’t overlook pistols, either. Center-fire versions capable of magazine loads by any other method than through the grip or carrying an off-hand stabilizing device are also included. The law enforcement FAQ explains the certification requirement also applies to, “All semi-automatic shotguns that have any of the following characteristics: A pistol grip or thumbhole stock; Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; A folding or telescopic stock; A fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds or the capacity to accept a detachable magazine.”

Owners of guns grandfathered in by the law could bring the affected firearms to the Boulder Police Department during specific hours or schedule an appointment for inspection and certification. Cost was $20 for the first firearm, and $5 for additional ones to cover administrative fees. The only other legal option was to remove the guns from the city limits by moving or destroying them. Failure to do so makes otherwise law-abiding owners in violation of the new law.

Two copies of the “certification” were issued for each firearm—one to be kept with it at all times, and the other stored in a separate, secure location.

NRA-ILA has backed a legal challenge to the Boulder City Council’s measures, which also include a magazine-capacity limit and an increase in the minimum age required to purchase firearms.

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