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Citizens weigh in on potential gun restrictions in Broomfield

With Broomfield City Council poised to consider passage of local gun ordinances, residents shared concerns that firearm restrictions could negatively impact law-abiding citizens.
Guns 1 Oct 16, 2018
With Broomfield City Council considering enhancing local gun regulations area residents voice concerns.

With Broomfield City Council poised to consider passage of local gun ordinances, residents shared concerns that firearm restrictions could negatively impact law-abiding citizens.

City Council is scheduled to hold a first reading for proposed gun ordinances on Tuesday, which follows two earlier executive sessions and study sessions to examine legalities and implications of the measures.

Although previously discussed, a ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines will not be considered. Comparable ordinances in Boulder, Superior, Louisville and Boulder County are currently facing legal challenges over potentially infringing Second Amendment rights.

Retired teacher Ms. Thoed, who professed a disdain for firearms, stressed the importance of passing laws that function as intended. 

“I would love to have as much gun legislation as is effective,” she said.

Potentially arming educators in light of the plague of school shootings fails to resonate with Thoed.

“I do not believe … that their job is to carry a gun,” she said. “Their job is to educate children and make them feel safe.”

Among the rules Broomfield is considering are banning possession and sale of rapid-fire trigger activators, setting a minimum age of 21 to purchase firearms and regulating possession of weapons without serial numbers.

City Council is also considering prohibiting open carry of firearms in public places, as well as restricting concealed carry in places owned and operated by the city and county. 

Establishing a 10-day waiting period and proof of training or shooting experience prior to the sale of firearms is included among the measures.

Also under consideration is mandating firearm dealers to post signs and provide educational notifications where a gun sale or transfer occurs. 

Broomfield resident Brian Keegan questioned the restrictions on concealed carry.

“Ironically, I just got my concealed carry permit in the mail yesterday when I got home from Thanksgiving,” he said.

From Keegan’s perspective, concealed-carry holders are protecting society.

“They’re of sound mind and most of them would step up to the plate if there was a situation,” he said. “The number one thing you’re looking to protect is your family, then yourself and then the population.”

Keegan said making it harder for people who don’t cause problems to protect society is not an ideal solution. 

“If we told all the stories about people who stopped others from doing something, I think people might feel differently,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of those stories go unheralded.”

Broomfield resident Jane Brown said that taking weapons out of the hands of law-abiding citizens is not the solution.

“How are we supposed to protect ourselves if somebody comes into our home?” she said. “Bad guys are always going to have guns.”

Dave Lacey, who moved to Colorado from his native Australia, shared a conflicted perspective on gun restrictions.

Lacey said prior to a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania that left 35 dead, few gun rules existed in Australia.

“Anyone could buy  a gun, including semi-automatics, and we had no mass shootings,” he said.

After the tragedy in Tasmania numerous gun laws were passed, Lacey said.

“They started weapon buybacks and people had to be licensed with training required,” he said.

For the past 25 years it has been far more difficult to legally obtain a gun in Australia, with public access to semi-automatic or pump-action shotguns and rifles restricted. 

“I have a gun license back home, but it was a lot of hoops to jump through to get it,” he explained. 

Among the measures approved in Australia are a 28-day waiting period for gun purchases or transfers. Also firearm license applicants are required to pass background checks that examine criminal records, mental health or substance addiction issues and past history of domestic violence.

“It’s gone from being really open to quite strict,” he said. “You can only have certain classes of weapons depending on what you’re going to be using them for.”

Annual deaths from firearms in Australia, which reached 516 in 1996, had dropped to 222 by 2019, according to gun

Lacey said despite the evidence of gun restrictions reducing deaths in his home land, enacting weapons restrictions would be far more difficult in the U.S.

“One of the things I like about America is you do have more freedoms, that’s one of the reasons I came over here, but that comes with a cost it seems as well,” he said.

Lacey also noted that different mentalities existed in the two nations.

“As an outsider looking in, to me it seems to be a bit of a cultural thing as well,” he said. “America was forged in violence.”

Amber Fisher contributed to this article.