'Assault weapons' owners in Boulder, Colorado boldly ignore ordinance banning their guns
Boulder’s newly enacted “assault weapons” ban is meeting with stiff resistance from its “gun-toting hippies,” staunch liberals who also happen to be devoted firearms owners.There is something about liberals and guns that look scary to them. Their first instinct when a weapon is used in a killing is to punish the innocent who were in no way involved in the crime. It is an example of group punishment for the crimes of others. It is like banning cars because someone used them to kill.
Only 342 “assault weapons,” or semiautomatic rifles, were certified by Boulder police before the Dec. 31 deadline, meaning there could be thousands of residents in the scenic university town of 107,000 in violation of the sweeping gun-control ordinance.
“I would say the majority of people I’ve talked to just aren’t complying because most people see this as a registry,” said Lesley Hollywood, executive director of the Colorado Second Amendment group Rally for Our Rights. “Boulder actually has a very strong firearms community.”
The ordinance, approved by the city council unanimously, banned the possession and sale of “assault weapons,” defined as semiautomatic rifles with a pistol grip, folding stock, or ability to accept a detachable magazine. Semiautomatic pistols and shotguns are also included.
Current owners were given until the end of the year to choose one of two options: Get rid of their semiautomatics by moving them out of town, disabling them, or turning them over to police — or apply for a certificate with the Boulder Police Department, a process that includes a firearm inspection, background check and $20 fee.
Judging by the numbers, however, most Boulder firearms owners have chosen to do none of the above, albeit quietly.
“The firearms community in Boulder — they may be Democrats but they love their firearms,” said Ms. Hollywood, herself a former Boulder resident.
One longtime Boulderite who has openly refused to comply is Jon Caldara, president of the free-market Independence Institute, who writes a column for the Denver Post and hosts the public-affairs show “Devil’s Advocate” on Colorado Public Television.
“The question was, do I do this publicly or do it privately, and I’ve chosen to do it publicly because somebody has to,” Mr. Caldara said. “There will be thousands of people in Boulder living in the shadows, worried about somebody turning them in.”
What made him decide to take one for the team was the specter of the tolerance-espousing Boulder City Council cracking down on a maligned minority, namely gun owners.