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As Boulder considers assault weapons ban, a look at other Colorado cities

(RHONA WISE/Getty Images)

BOULDER — In the 16 years Vail’s police chief has been with the department, he can’t recall a single arrest or citation tied to that town’s 1994 assault weapons ban.

In the last 11 years in Denver, the city’s records department only reported seven citations, though, the city admits, many assault weapons have been seized from felons in district court.

Boulder city councilors are considering a similar ban: so let’s compare them all.

  • Vail’s 1994 ordinance bans semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines capable of holding 21 or more rounds.
  • Denver’s rule bans 15 or more rounds.
  • Boulder’s proposed ordinance would ban 10 rounds or more.

Each ordinance has exemptions. One of Vail’s key exemptions would allow anyone who owned a weapon defined in the ban before it became effective to keep it. They would have to register it with the police department first.

Denver’s ban has a similar provision. It also exempts law enforcement and military.

Denver’s ban also includes exemptions for movie props and people traveling through the city with assault weapons.

Boulder’s proposal would include an ownership provision. It would also exempt law enforcement. But the proposal in front of city council also includes an exemption for registered competitive shooters.

Assault weapon are currenlty defined as:

  1. All semiautomatic action rifles with a detachable magazine with a capacity of 21 or more rounds.
  2. All semiautomatic shotguns with a folding stock or a magazine capacity of 21 or more rounds.
  3. All semiautomatic pistols that or modifications of rifles having the same make, caliber, and action design but a short barrel or modifications of automatic weapons originally designed to accept magazines with a capacity of 21 or more rounds.
  4. Any firearm which has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon as defined herein.
  5. Any part of combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon, including a detachable magazine with a capacity of 21 or more rounds, or any combination of parts for which an assault weapon may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

You can read the full proposal here.

Boulder’s council will accept public feedback at tonight’s council meeting. The council is expected to vote on a proposal later this month.

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