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Firearm Certification

City of Boulder residents who prior to June 15, 2018, were legally in possession of an assault weapon shall have until December 31, 2018 to obtain a certificate for the assault weapon from the Boulder Police Department.

The police department's main location at 1805 33rd St. will certify firearms on Mondays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., Thursdays between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Appointments are walk-in only and first come first serve.  The police department will begin certifying firearms on July 2, 2018. This service will not be available on Monday, July 30, 2018. We apologize for any inconvenience. An evaluation of this schedule will occur mid-August to determine if more or less walk-in appointment times are needed.

A person certifying a firearm will need to bring valid photo identification and the firearm being certified. Firearms must be unloaded and secure in a vehicle.  A background check will be performed to ensure that the weapon holder is legally able to be in possession of the firearm. Once the background check comes back clear, two certificates per firearm will be filled out by hand and given to the person registering the firearm. The person receiving the certificate shall keep one copy with the weapon certified and the second copy in a secure place to replace the certificate maintained with the weapon. The police department does not keep any records. If both certificates are lost or destroyed after December 31, 2018, possession of the weapon is no longer legal. 

The cost of this service is $20.00 for the first firearm and $5.00 for each additional firearm during the same certification. Payment can be made by cash, check or credit card. The police department is only able to accept Visa and Master Card.

Frequently Asked Questions (Please refer to Ordinance 8245 and 8259 for specific language)

When did ordinance 8245 banning the possession and sale of assault weapons go into effect?

June 15, 2018

What is the definition of an assault weapon?

A semi-automatic center-fire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and that have any of the following characteristics:
• A pistol grip or thumbhole stock;
​• A folding or telescoping stock;
• Any protruding grip or other device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.

All semi-automatic center-fire pistols that have any of the following characteristics:
• Have the capacity to accept a magazine other than in the pistol grip or;
• Have a secondary protruding grip or other device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.

All semi-automatic shotguns that have any of the following characteristics:
• A pistol grip or thumbhole stock;
• Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;
• A folding or telescoping stock;
​• A fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds or the capacity to accept a detachable magazine.

Any firearm which has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon as defined herein. Any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon, including any combination of parts from which an assault weapon may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

Can I travel through the City of Boulder with an assault weapon?

Nothing in this ordinance shall be deemed to restrict a person's ability to travel with a weapon in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance for hunting, for lawful protection of a person's or another's person or property or for competition, while traveling into, through, or within, the City of Boulder, regardless of the number of times the person stops in the City of Boulder.

Is a carrying case required if I am openly carrying a firearm?

Any person carrying a firearm off of the person’s property or outside of the person's business or vehicle shall carry the firearm in a carrying case. The carrying case must be recognizable as a gun carrying case by a reasonable person. A plain-shaped case must be clearly marked to be deemed recognizable under this standard. A holster satisfies the requirement of a carrying case for a pistol. The carrying case must be openly carried and must not be concealed on or about the person. This section shall not apply to individuals who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon issued pursuant to state law unless the weapon being carried is an assault weapon.

Are any individuals exempt from this ordinance?

Nothing in this section shall be construed to forbid any person:

  • Holding a Federal Firearms  License issued by the United States Government from possession of any firearm authorized pursuant to such license;
  • From possessing a weapon for which the United States Government has issued a stamp or permit pursuant to the National Firearms Act;
  • Selling an illegal weapon to a person identified in Section 5-8-25, “Exemptions from this Chapter,” B.R.C. 1981.

Nothing in this ordinance shall be deemed to apply to any firearm that has been modified either to render it permanently inoperable or to permanently make it not an assault weapon.

Nothing in the ordinance shall be construed to forbid the following persons from having in their possession, displaying, concealing or discharging such weapons as are necessary in the authorized and proper performance of their official duties:

  • United States Marshals, any sheriffs, constables and their deputies,
  • any regular or ex-officio police officer,
  • any other peace officers, or
  • members of the United States Armed Forces, Colorado National Guard or
  • Reserve Officer Training Corps.

If I live in the City of Boulder and owned an assault weapon prior to June 15, 2018 can I keep it?

Any person who, prior to June 15, 2018, was legally in possession of an assault weapon shall have until December 31, 2018 to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:

  • Remove  the  assault  weapon from the City of Boulder;
  • Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable;
  • Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the Boulder Police Department for destruction; or 
  • If eligible, obtain a certificate for the assault weapon 

How much does it cost to obtain a firearms certificate?

$20.00 for the first firearm and $5.00 for each additional firearm during the same certification. Payment can be made by cash, check or credit card. The police department is only able to accept Visa and Master Card.

What is the process to obtain a firearm certificate?

A person certifying a firearm will need to bring valid photo identification and the firearm being certified. Firearms must be unloaded and secure in a vehicle.  A background check will be performed to ensure that the weapon holder is legally able to be in possession of the firearm. Once the background check comes back clear, two certificates per firearm will be filled out by hand and given to the person registering the firearm. The person receiving the certificate shall keep one copy with the weapon certified and the second copy in a secure place to replace the certificate maintained with the weapon. The police department does not keep any records. If both certificates are lost or destroyed after December 31, 2018, possession of the weapon is no longer legal.  

When can I certify my firearm?

The police department's main location at 1805 33rd St. will certify firearms on Mondays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., Thursdays between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Appointments are walk-in only and first come first serve.  The police department will begin certifying firearms on July 2, 2018. This service will not be available on Monday, July 30, 2018. We apologize for any inconvenience. An evaluation of this schedule will occur mid-August to determine if more or less walk-in appointment times are needed.

What should I do if a discrepancy on my background report prevents me from getting my firearm certificate?

Discrepancies on your Colorado record can be challenged and corrected by contacting the Colorado Bureau of Investigation at 690 Kipling St., Suite 3000, Denver, CO 80215, or by calling the Identification Unit at 303-239-4208. Additional information is available from CBl's website at www.colorado.gov/cbi.

What requirements must firearm certificate holders follow to be in compliance?

  • Safely and securely store the assault weapon pursuant to the regulations adopted by the appropriate law enforcement agency;
  • Possess the assault weapon only on property owned or immediately controlled by the person, or while on the premises of a licensed gunsmith for the purpose of lawful repair, or while engaged in the legal use of the assault weapon at a duly licensed firing range, or while traveling to or from these locations, provided that the assault weapon is stored unloaded in a locked container during transport. The term “locked container” does not include the utility compartment, glove compartment, or trunk of a motor vehicle; and
  • Report the loss or theft of a certified assault weapon to the appropriate law enforcement agency within 48 hours of the time the discovery was made or should have been made.
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