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August 3, 2022

Boulder County Commissioners Unanimously Approve Gun Violence Prevention Ordinances


The five new ordinances apply to unincorporated Boulder County.


Boulder County, Colo. -- Following a month-long comment period and a public hearing, the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners has unanimously approved five ordinances designed to address gun violence. The new laws represent a multifaceted approach to reducing gun violence through bans on the sale of assault weapons and the possession of “ghost guns”, as well as an age-based restriction and waiting period for purchasing a firearm, and restrictions on carrying firearms in sensitive public areas. “Ghost guns” are unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be bought online and assembled at home.

At the August 2 public hearing, the Commissioners voted 3-0 to adopt the ordinances with immediate effect. In 2021, Boulder County supported Colorado Senate Bill 21-256, which removed the restrictions that prohibited local jurisdictions in Colorado from passing gun violence prevention ordinances.

“The Board’s adoption of these five gun violence prevention ordinances is our local response to Senate Bill 21-256, which allows local jurisdictions to act. We have made our commitment to the prevention of gun violence,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Marta Loachamin. "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. Waiting periods for acquiring a firearm, background checks, prohibition on the sale of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, age restrictions, bans on unlicensed ‘ghost guns’, and restricting guns in public places like playgrounds and places of worship are the steps we’ve taken today.”

“As elected officials, we have a duty to help prevent gun deaths and violence in our communities,” said Board of County Commissioners Vice-Chair Claire Levy. “The ordinances that the Board adopted for unincorporated Boulder County are a step in the right direction and one we hope that other local jurisdictions in Colorado will soon adopt. But the work is not done. Political boundaries are porous and so we look forward to continuing to support work at a local, state, and federal level to do even more to protect people from the scourge of gun violence.”

“These ordinances are common sense gun violence laws designed to help keep people safe," said Commissioner Matt Jones. "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 following ordinances were adopted on August 2, 2022 and take immediate effect in unincorporated Boulder County:

  • Ordinance 2022-2  An Ordinance Prohibiting the Purchase of Firearms by Anyone Under the Age of Twenty-One: Prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm and prohibits anyone from selling a firearm to anyone under the age of 21.
  • Ordinance 2022-3  An Ordinance Requiring a Waiting Period Prior to the Sale of Firearms: Establishes a 10 day waiting period for delivering firearms from a licensed firearms dealer and for the dealer to have received approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for the firearms transfer.
  • Ordinance 2022-4  An Ordinance Prohibiting the Carrying of Firearms in Sensitive Public Places: Prohibits the carrying of firearms, whether in an open or concealed manner, in sensitive public areas in unincorporated Boulder County, including (but not limited to) government buildings, playgrounds, parks, within 500 feet of a polling station or ballot box, healthcare facilities, places of worship, preschools, and daycares.
  • Ordinance 2022-5  An Ordinance Prohibiting the sale and purchase of Assault Weapons, Large Capacity Magazines, and Trigger Activators: Prohibits the manufacture, import, purchase, sale or transfer of any assault weapon, large-capacity magazine, or rapid-fire trigger activator in unincorporated Boulder County.
  • Ordinance 2022-6  An Ordinance to Regulate the Possession of Unfinished Frames and Receivers, and Unserialized Firearms: Prohibits the possession of firearms that have not been identified with a serial number by a federal licensee (so called ‘ghost guns’).

These represent high level summaries of each ordinance. Refer to the ordinances for full details.

Visit the county’s website to find out which areas comprise unincorporated Boulder County.


Headshots of three current commissioners in horizontal alignment with their names to the right of each photo