Like other local governments in Boulder County, Longmont will look into possible gun laws of its own after several mass shootings across the U.S.

Toward the beginning of the City Council’s study session Tuesday night, Mayor Joan Peck requested that council discuss “gun safety laws” during a pre-session on June 14.

Although public comment is not taken during council pre-sessions, the public will be invited to be heard, as it always is for three minutes or fewer, during the City Council’s regular meeting that will follow at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“I feel that we should probably do this sooner than later,” Peck said of the initial discussion about possible firearm regulations.

It isn’t immediately clear what specific rules the city may or may not consider related to guns.

Council member Susie Hidalgo-Fahring, who works as a school teacher, seconded Peck’s motion to schedule the firearms discussion.

Aside from passing the mayor’s motion unanimously, council members did not offer any other comments.

“I’m hearing a lot of calls to ban AR-15s … within our city limits,” Hidalgo-Fahring said in a separate interview. “Currently, I am speaking with other legislators and attorneys to see … what is possible that we can do to ensure the safety of our residents.”

On Tuesday night, the town of Superior’s Board of Trustees and the Louisville City Council were both slated to discuss firearm regulations at their respective meetings.

Boulder County officials have also indicated they, too, will examine firearm-related policies in the weeks ahead.

The mayor’s request to discuss possible new gun laws in Longmont comes in the wake of mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed in an elementary school; in Buffalo, N.Y., where 10 individuals were left dead in a Tops supermarket; and in Tulsa, Okla, where five people, including the perpetrator, were killed.

On March 22, 2021, a gunman also killed 10 people at the Table Mesa King Soopers in Boulder.

Colorado Senate Bill 256, which was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis last year, determined that local governments such as Longmont were “uniquely equipped” to regulate firearms and did away with a previous provision that prohibited towns, cities and counties from enacting ordinances governing guns.

Chris Lewis, who has worked at Grandpa’s Pawn & Gun at 104 Ninth Ave. in Longmont for the past 15 years, said in a separate interview Tuesday that gun sales had slightly increased recently, which he attributed to local communities looking to enact their own gun laws.

Lewis said he learned about the possible new regulations not from city officials, but instead customers who called up the store with plenty of questions.

“Some of them, I could tell, were absolutely totally green, probably had never owned a firearm in their life,” Lewis said. “One lady specifically told me, ‘I want to buy this because the city says they don’t want me to own it.’ That’s her whole reason.”

Lewis said he was “not surprised” city officials did not reach out to the longstanding gun store about the forthcoming dialogue nor did he think local gun regulations would be impactful.

“They won’t reach out to us … it would be really nice if they would, but they won’t,” Lewis said. “We’re treated like a pariah.”

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Matthew Bennett
2022-06-08 04:14:25
Boulder Daily Camera
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