Shay Castle Profile picture
Jun 8 80 tweets 11 min read
Well, we are finally here, Boulder. The long-awaited (and long) public hearing and final vote on gun control.…
It's pretty much the only thing on the agenda. At least the only thing I'll be tweeting.
Here is the staff presentation:…
It basically just goes over what all the proposed laws are, including
- Ban on assault weapons and magazines that hold over 10 rounds
- Upping age limit for purchase of firearms from 18 to 21
- Implementing 10-day waiting period for purchase
- Banning "ghost guns" (without a serial number — this would be a civil offense rather than a criminal one, unless there was an intent to sell or distribute)
- Bans open carry (guns can be in locked, opaque case)
- Bans concealed carry in "sensitive" areas like schools, protests, polling places, etc. or anywhere with a liquor license

Some places can allow concealed carry if they want; those that prohibit it must have signs saying so
Also requires gun stores to post signage about the health and safety risks that guns pose for children, people at risk of suicide and death during domestic violence.
More details on the laws, plus a lot of the evidence the city cited as justification for them:…
A reminder that Boulder had an assault weapons ban in 2018, but that was struck down by a court in March 2021 — 10 days before a mass shooting in the South Boulder King Soopers.
However, a change in state law since that time now allows cities to pass stricter gun control than what the state has in place. So here we are.
Boulder working with Superior, Lafayette and Boulder County to pass some of these or similar laws. "We do hope to have sort of a safe zone" with these laws, city attorney Luis Toro says.
Q from Yates: We didn't list public schools as a place where concealed carry is not allowed. Why?
Toro: BVSD is doing its own firearm restrictions, so we didn't want to conflict with them.
Yates: Guns are generally prohibited at public schools?
Toro: Yes
Wallach: Did we give any thought to health clubs?
Toro: Private biz are allowed to prohibit firearms if they want to.
That's a good distinction — this ordinance automatically disallows concealed carry in certain places, which creates an opt-in for them.

Those are:
"places licensed to serve alcohol, hospitals, facilities providing mental health or substance abuse services, places of worship, sporting venues, courthouses, financial institutions, day care centers and preschools, and grocery stores."
Concealed carry also banned in city facilities, polling locations, and places where public demonstrations are occurring, but those tend to be on public property so therefore no opt-in.
We're getting video testimony from Congressman Joe Neguse. "I'm proud that tonight you will consider 6 pieces of gun violence prevention legislation that will undoubtedly make Boulderites and Coloradans safer."
Many, many references in the ordinance texts and from Toro tonight that owing a firearm having one in the house substantially increases your risk of injury and death by gunshot. Lots of evidence on this.
But the perception among gun owners is still that owning guns makes you safer.
City staff made the point, in notes to council, that the gap in knowledge can be directly attributed to marketing by the NRA and gun manufacturers.

I don't see a lot of gun ads, but the ones I have seen are all about protecting yourself and your family.
When people are trying to sell you something, they're probably not going to say that owning that something increases your risk of death.

Except prescription meds, I guess. And cigarettes — which is the city's rationale for requiring signage in gun stores.
I missed how many people are signed up to speak, but I swear the mayor said 22... which would be MUCH fewer than the 2018 public hearing.
The atmosphere certainly feels v different. The pro-gun folks have been pretty quiet, probably because there have been so many recent shootings, and Boulder's own mass shooting at King Soopers.
Megan Vos: "Although there is no single ordinance" that can prevent tragedies like the shooting at King Soopers, in Buffalo or Uvalde, these ordinances are meaningful steps toward that goal. Things like waiting periods and higher age limits will prevent shootings.
Christina Gardner: "The violence happening across our country is preventable. These ordinances are based on evidence."
90% of suicide attempts with a gun are fatal, Gardner says. A waiting period can be a buffer for someone in crisis.
Leigh Fiske: "We are not powerless. I want to thank Boulder CC for taking seriously the threat that guns pose" when not combined with common-sense regulation. "You can save lives in our community (and) serve as a powerful example" to other communities.
Haley Brown: "There have already been over 200 mass shootings this year in the United States. 200. 200! 200 instances where 4 or more people died" from guns in a single incident. That doesn't even reflect accidental shootings and individual deaths.
Ari Freilich, state policy director for Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which worked with Boulder on these ordinances: Guns are the leading cause of death for children in this country.
The Uvalde shooter purchased his weapons the day he turned 18. This law would have prevented that, Freilich says. These proposals will make a difference.

"The Second Amendment is not under threat, but we are."
Kathleen Ashworth, a member of the Giffords' Gun Owners for Safety in Colorado: Assault weapons have been used in most of the worst mass shootings in the U.S.
That's a list of the worst mass shootings in the U.S., though it might already be out of date.
Elizabeth Smith: "Boulder cannot afford a culture that pretends we are back in the Wild West." (which had gun control, as one of my BBOP writers informed me this week....…
Lisa Sweeney-Miran: "I do everything I can to keep my children safe, but there is always a place where my reach ends and the community has to take over. Pass every measure you can."
Kathleen Salmon, a social worker: I work with children and their families. I counseled many parents and teens after the King Soopers and Uvalde shootings.

"No child or family should be having these conversations. No one should be afraid to go to school."
Salmon: Waiting periods will reduce suicides, which "especially by young people, are often impulsive."
Our first opponent!

Brett Froth: "I want to bring some real common sense to these common-sense gun laws. You have no right restricting our Second Amendment right, especially while being a sanctuary city."
Just wanna state for the record that there is no link whatsoever between immigration and gun violence.
Froth: These laws are virtue signaling and may make our city a target for angry people.
Andrew O'Connor, former public defender and drug court attorney who worked on the original assault weapons ban: "There is a sickness in our country, and it is our gun cult, which has no counterpart in any other advanced democracy. We don't have to live like this."
"We blame everything but guns for mass shootings," O'Connor says. If England, Canada, New Zealand and Australia can solve mass shootings, "then so can we."
Bruce Parker, deputy director of OUT Boulder County: My father was killed in an act of gun violence when I was 2 years old, but today I'm speaking on behalf of LGBTQ people. Unregulated access to guns" pose a very real threat to "myself and members of my community."
Parker: "Guns impact LGBTQ communities not only through mass shootings" but suicide — "the No. 1 use of guns, 6 out of every 10 gun deaths in our country. Here in Colorado, it's 3 out of 4."
Some elected reps going to speak now. This was the only time they were available. Edie Hooton and Judy Amabile.
Hooton: "I have not received one email or one communication over social media in opposition to these ordinances. There is some positive movement taking place."
"As a legislator," Hooton says, "I have observed many times the value of local action. It percolates to the state level, informs state legislators and motivates them."
Amabile: "The state will also follow your lead, once we get enough cities telling us, 'You have to act.' We have more ppl we have to get on board before we can get things passed."
Amabile: This waiting period is most meaningful to me. Several years ago, my son had a mental health crisis and went to a gun shop to buy a weapon. Just by luck, the background check did not come back instantly as it often does.
We went to the gun shop and begged them, please don't sell him this gun, Amabile recounts. They told us they didn't have a legal reason to not sell it to him, that he seemed like a nice, normal kid. But we persuaded them.
Amabile: "Even if we saved one kid, I think it would be worth it. I don't think there's a parent out there who wouldn't agree with that. This is not everything you need to do," but it helps.
Steve Fenberg, another rep: No state that I'm aware of has repealed a prohibition on local gun control. Colorado was the first.
Fenberg: "Guns are different in Brush, Colorado, or Sterling than in Boulder. And that's OK." That's why local gov't should be able to decide what works for them.
Checking in on Louisville and Lafayette, also hearing gun control ordinances tonight:
Back to our public hearing.
Pam McMillin: "According to the CDC, guns became the leading cause of death for children in 2020. Parents and children have endured enough trauma, and it past time" to pass these ordinances. "We should have taken action 23 years ago after Columbine."
Eric Budd thanks state lawmakers for attending, but pushes back a little bit: There are certain things we can only do at the state level. I ask our legislators to do more.
Fred Barton, a parent and "responsible gun owner" (he said that, which is why it's in quotes): I'm opposed to these measures. "This issue is v divisive. There's not been nearly as many ppl participating in this discussion" as in the previous ones, bc they don't know about it.
Bro, we've been talking about this since February. There are two articles and an opinion piece on the front page of right now about this.
Here's the first time I covered this, in February:…
Anyway, Fred wants this to go to the ballot in Boulder.
Jennifer Mabry: You, our leaders, have failed us too often. "These ordinances are the least we can do, and they should be a start, not a finish."
I think I need to disclose that Mabry and I were in the TRENDS equity fellowship together. Not 100% sure, bc I didn't see her face, but I recognized her voice.
That is our public hearing. 29 speakers, 2 of whom didn't show up, plus 4 state lawmakers. Much, much shorter than anticipated.
Councilwoman Friend makes a motion to approve all these. There's already been discussion on them in past meetings, tho I expect some further remarks tonight.
"Last year Boulder joined an ever-growing list of cities traumatized by mass shooting violence." Friend reads the names of the victims of the King Soopers shooting.
Tralona Bartkowiak, Suzanne Fountain, Teri Leiker, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, Rikki Olds, Neven Stanisic, Denny Stong, Eric Talley and Jody Waters
Friend: "Our No. 1 job as elected officials is to safeguard community members. These ordinances do so."

Also shouts out the 2018 council who first brought the assault weapons ban forward.
Friend also thanks the survivors of gun violence who spoke tonight. "It exposes a never-healed wound."

"I'm frankly frustrated that it is left to cities" to pass these laws that state governments "could and should be doing."
Louisville passed their ordinances unanimously, Friend says.
Good thread here on the votes. Looks like 5 out of 6 passed unanimously.
Yates: "The legislation that we pass tonight will be your lasting legacy," he says to Friend, who worked on gun control issues before she got on council.
"As a gun owner, I believe these ordinance are not an unduly burden" on people who want to own weapons responsibly, Yates says.
Yates: "The ordinances we pass tonight will be our modest attempt to save some lives. It will take courage and action by cities and counties across our state, by our Congress and by our President."
We're still in speeches. No vote yet. But it will be unanimous, as the previous vote was on these ordinances.
"Doing nothing is an endorsement of the status quo," councilman Benjamin says. "That's not something I'm willing to live with."
Mayor Brockett: "Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We have to take action with the tools available to us."
It is a unanimous vote on all 6 ordinances.
They will go into effect July 1
Brockett: "I have a tear in my eye. This is an important moment. It takes courage to pass measures like this."
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More from @shayshinecastle

May 25
Lastly, a quick(?) discussion on BMoCA, which is apparently moving.…
BMoCA = Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
They currently lease a building from the city on 13th Street, I believe. They got $1M from the city from its Community, Culture, Safety Tax for renovation of that space. But BMoCA wants to use it to move instead.
Read 16 tweets
May 25
Now: A guaranteed income pilot program…
Boulder is using its COVID recovery cash for this — in March, council approved up to $250K of ARPA money for this pilot, and staff is requesting another $2.75M in Q3 of this year — but city HHS staff actually began researching guaranteed income pilot projects in 2019.
Read 60 tweets
May 25
It's time for #Boulder's annual look at its finances, as well as some economic forecasting for 2023.

Lots o' good info in this:…
Before we start, here are the key dates for Boulder's 2023 budget. I expect to see some freaking engagement this year:
Study session: September 8
First reading: Oct 6
Second reading: Oct 20
Basically, the story is one of continued recovery. Sales tax, other revenue is up, though still not back to pre-pandemic levels. Boulder's budget has continued to exceed expectations (which were pretty dire).
Read 66 tweets
May 25
Next: Now that we're back in medium-level transmission, what city / council protocols should be in place? They've already gone back to virtual council meetings.…
Wallach: "As at least 5 of us has experienced COVID, it seems to me most prudent to go virtual for our meetings, for the moment."

Reminder that these cases among council and staff came after 2 weeks of in-person meetings.…
That's not to say we know they *got* COVID from the meeting (there was socializing after a meeting) but it showed how quickly it spread through this one little group.
Read 8 tweets
May 24
It's a Tuesday night in #Boulder, so that means a city council meeting.

Not feeling v much like tweeting after today's mass shooting. CC will be voting for the first time on gun violence prevention measures before moving into a study session.
I expect we will hear a few words about the shooting at an elementary school in Texas.

I myself have none.
Every week, I sit in support group and witness the after-effects of violence... decades after the events, we are still struggling to heal. Still.

Trauma is being created needlessly for thousands of families each year. It can be survived, but it cannot be endured.
Read 11 tweets
May 18
I have lost track of how many times council has talked about this. It's a plan for the future of East Boulder: How much housing we can do, where it can go, transportation amenities/facilities/plans, etc.
We had a joint public hearing with Planning Board on this... at some point. I no longer remember.

Planning Board had a couple of big suggestions for changes that we're gonna discuss tonight. Council AND PB have to agree on the exact same thing here.
Read 69 tweets

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