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Broomfield Council holds another study session on proposed gun laws

As lawsuits over new gun laws continue in neighboring communities, Broomfield’s proposed ordinances have been revised.
Broomfield City Council meeting on Oct.18, 2022.

Broomfield City Council held another study session Tuesday on the proposed gun laws, and highlighted changes that have been made to the proposals.

The revisions come as Nancy Rodgers, city and county attorney, and Courtney Thiemann, senior city and county attorney, have been following the lawsuits over new gun laws that are continuing in neighboring communities. 

Enforcement of the assault weapons bans and large capacity magazine bans has been suspended in Boulder, Superior, Louisville and Boulder County as the communities await an injunction hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The Broomfield attorneys decided to remove from the proposals the ban on possession and sale of large-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and the prohibition on concealed carry in public spaces that aren’t owned and operated by Broomfield.

Other changes to Broomfield’s proposed gun ordinances include requiring educational notifications at businesses in any site where gun sales or transfers occur — in addition to also requiring signage at those sites; requiring “proof of training/experience” in addition to a 10-day waiting period before the sale of guns; and an exception to the waiting period for victims of domestic violence.

Firearm businesses would have to provide written notices that warn about suicide, domestic violence and other risks.

“A member of our team had an experience where she was actually at a doctor’s office and saw a notification like this,” Rodgers told City Council. “It was an informational pamphlet about firearms, and that was sort of the idea behind this — we thought, ‘this is great — rather than a sign, this is something you can take home.’”

The following proposed gun ordinances are also moving forward:

  • Banning the possession and sale of rapid-fire trigger activators. 
  • Establishing the minimum age of 21 to possess a firearm. 
  • Regulating possession of firearms without serial numbers.
  • Prohibiting the open carry of firearms in public places.
  • Prohibiting concealed carry in places owned and operated by the city and county.

Councilmember Heidi Henkel said she’s against the proposal to prohibit concealed carry in places owned and operated by Broomfield.

“I would like to be able to conceal carry in this building,” Henkel told City Council. “I really think that the more we punish our concealed carry people — who take these classes and are trained — I don’t think it’s going to make us any more safe.”

City Council rarely accepts public comment during study sessions, but in its first session Sept. 20, community members were allowed to have their voices heard. Some residents said they support the stricter gun laws for safety reasons, and others said the laws will only restrict responsible gun owners — not those who intend to use a gun illegally.

Tuesday’s study session did not allow public comment; however, nearly a dozen Broomfield residents spoke up against the proposed ordinances during the City Council meeting prior to the session. Several residents expressed frustration over the costs that Broomfield taxpayers would have to shoulder if the city and county faces lawsuits over the ordinances. Others said their top concern is the threat to their Second Amendment rights.

Kyle Wester, who has owned Broomfield Pawn with his grandfather for nearly two decades, told City Council that the proposal for a 10-day waiting period and required training class would be “detrimental” to his shop.

“This is emotional for me, because we’ve been here so long,” Wester said. “Broomfield customers will just take their business elsewhere — just a few miles away, and not be impacted by Broomfield’s 10-day waiting period or training classes. My business may not be able to survive because of this.”

Broomfield resident Leslie O’Brien, a representative of the gun safety organization Moms Demand Action, said she supports the proposed 10-day waiting period.

“We are not here to take away anyone’s guns — we are not anti-gun, we are not anti-Second Amendment — we are pro-responsible gun ownership,” O’Brien told City Council. “It’s not necessarily going to harm your business — if anything, you can also incorporate the training into your business model.”

Two executive sessions were held in October to discuss legal issues with Broomfield’s proposed gun laws. Executive sessions are not open to the public or the media.

The proposed gun ordinances are slated for a first reading in the regular City Council meeting Nov. 29.