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Colorado governor signs bill allowing cities to impose their own gun restrictions


Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed three gun reform bills on Saturday. The new regulations follow a mass shooting in Boulder earlier this year.

Bill SB21-256 allows cities in Colorado to establish their own firearms regulations, replacing a previous state law that “prohibits a local government from passing an ordinance, regulation or other law. prohibiting the sale, purchase or possession of a firearm ”. While the new law gives local jurisdictions more leeway to set their own gun control regulations, it prohibits them from adopting regulations “less restrictive” than state law.

Ten days before the mass shooting in March that left 10 people dead, a Boulder County District Court judge blocked the city’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The judge ruled that the 2018 law violated a previous 2003 law that made gun regulation a state interest to prevent “a patchwork of inconsistent local gun laws.”

SB21-256 now makes gun control “a matter of state and local concern”.

Polis also signed legislation that will prohibit firearms dealers from transferring firearms to another person who has been convicted of specified minor offenses or who has not been vetted. successful track record. The third bill requires the Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the Department of Health and Environment to conduct public awareness campaigns that “educate the general public about state and federal laws and resources. existing laws relating to the prevention of armed violence ”.

“The recent tragedies around Colorado and the country demand swift and decisive action,” Polis said in a statement on Saturday. “Together, these measures will make our communities safer, keep guns out of the reach of those who might get hurt or injured, and bring help to people in crisis as soon as possible.” “

On March 22, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, reportedly opened fire and killed 10 people in a grocery store and parking lot in Boulder. A police officer was among the victims. Law enforcement said Alissa legally purchased the Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic pistol that was used in the shooting just six days before the attack. He faces a total of 115 charges, including 47 attempted murder, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 7, according to CBS Denver.

Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver told “CBS This Morning” in March that he supported a federal ban on assault rifles and believed the shooting could have been avoided if there was one. “The availability of assault weapons is too high,” he said.

Colorado Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg said the new legislation signed is a step towards creating a “framework that over time will save lives.”

“There is something that I think a mass shooting does to the psyche of a community collectively even if you weren’t individually involved or impacted and it really disrupts the way you move in your daily life. across your world, ”he said at a signing ceremony on Saturday. “Although the subject of these three bills is pain, loss and trauma, I am here today based on hope. I am hopeful because step by step, bill by bill law, we here in Colorado are creating safer communities. “

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