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Thread: Is OC legal in Boulder, CO?

  1. #1
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    Is OC legal in Boulder? According to their Municipal Code, it doesn't sound like it:
    5-8-8 Possession of Loaded Firearms.
    (a) Except as set forth in this chapter, no person shall possess a loaded firearm or a loaded gas or mechanically operated gun.
    [...]
    5-8-21 Open Carriage of Firearms in Carrying Cases Required.
    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. 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.
    So, not only must my firearm be unloaded, I also can't carry it on my person. Additionally, even if it's locked and unloaded, I have to put it in my gun bag, and I have to mark my gun bag with a "This bag contains a gun" sticker. Is this correct?

    It was my understanding that colorado law prohibited these sorts of restrictions, but according to the Colorado Revised Statues, this is perfectly legit:

    29-11.7-104. Regulation - carrying - posting.

    A local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government's jurisdiction. If a local government enacts an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area, the local government shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area.
    Of course, the last part of the CRS doesn't really make sense. How would Boulder go about "posting signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area"? Is there a sign at the city limits saying you can't OC there?

    Anyone comments/clarifications on this law would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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    Regular Member Yooper's Avatar
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    Boulders ordinances are void, and unenforceable...well, I guess the LEO's could enforce them, but I'm sure a judge/DA would immediately throw them out.

    That leaves the state law. The building thing is a no brainer. If they have "no weapons" signs at the entrance to the building, you can't OC there. The specific area is meant to apply to areas outside, such as parks. If you go to a Boulder city park and see a no firearms sign, you can't OC there.

    So in short, you can OC in Boulder, just be on the look out for the no firearms/weapons signs.
    Rand Paul 2016

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    Regular Member Yooper's Avatar
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    I should add that here in MI, we have a pre-emption law that forbids local governments from enacting or enforcing laws/regulations/ordinances on the possession, sale, transportation ect, that are stricter than state law.

    Many cities and townships have had ordinances on the books for years that restrict (usually) possession, but after writing those in charge (commissioners, city council) and demanding the ordinances be removed due to the pre-emption law, all have been removed.

    I don't know if anyone in Colorado is actively corresponding with local governments or not to remove these ordinances, but if not, someone should
    Rand Paul 2016

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    This is insane

    There are SO MANY threads on this issue alone- not to mention SO MANY THREADS on OC anywhere outside of Denver city/county. I'm not upset but I'm getting really really annoyed about logging onto this board everyday to see the same questions asked over and over and over and over when the answer is in a thread TWO INCHES DOWN from the New Post button.

    Do a search.

    After your search- search again with different key words. If you still cannot secure an answer to your question

    After that- Sure go ahead and ask

    Do we have mods or what? Somebody sticky a thread with these "Boulder/Longmont/etc etc etc" questions on Open Carry. Please.

    It's friggin ridiculous we have to answer this question 10 times a week.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/38445.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/38182.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/37647.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/36956.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/37329.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/35613.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/36679.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/33937.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/23366.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/33759.html

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    You know, cscitney, it's not your opinion (or anyone else's on this board) that counts. It's case law. If you really want an answer, call the police and tell them you'll be carrying in an area prohibited by city ordinance, and then meet them there and see what happens. You're naive if you think you'll be debating the law with the police on the scene, or that local authority won't charge you under their ordinances.

    I agree that the legislature's intent was to prohibit local gun ordinances, but that's not what happened with open carry.

    How do you feel about what RMGO says?: http://www.rmgo.org/faq/#OpenCarry

    They list several municipal prohibitions.

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    Again you are not saying anything that has not already been said. Nothing new to see here folks.

    A local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government's jurisdiction. If a local government enacts an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area, the local government shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area.


    What Rabbit continues to speak about is the above quoted Colorado constitution. Although local ordinances are listed on the linked website-these local ordinances and All other ordinances outside of Denver City/Counter must abide by these rules.


    Since Boulder/Longmont/Etc Etc Etc would legally HAVE to post the sign at every public entrance to the city- this makes it impossible for any other municipality to ban open carry in any fashion.

    Sorry Rabbit but you are beating a dead horse. There's a reason why nobody else has commented heavily on any of this Boulder/Longmont/any other city ban. That reason being- it's been settled a long time ago.

    For the record- Again- You can OC in Boulder.

    Have a great time out there and be safe!

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    Sorry, cscitney. I actually did see a Boulder thread on the first page, but didn't want to revive it because it was a month old. Also, I wasn't completely satisfied with the answer, so I made this new posting.

    I guess my problem is this: It looks like municipal bans aren't in conflict with state law. Why? Because CRS 29-11.7-104 states that a local government may enact a ban for a "specific area within the local government's jurisdiction." Couldn't the entire city of Boulder count as a "specific area" or is that too broad? (but I guess that means they would need to post signs on every block, or something).

    EDIT: cscitney beat me to it, but what about this other stuff (below)?

    And what do you mean by "unenforceable"? Do you mean that I might get arrested, but I could clear my record if I hired a lawyer and sued the city? Although it sounds like you could win a case against the city of Boulder if arrested, it seems like pretty thin ice to me. As Rabbit pointed out, even the RMGO thinks people should be very very cautious when OCing because some municipalities ban it.

    Lastly, I didn't see any thread on the part of Boulder law which states that I must label my gun bag as containing a firearm. Has this ever been enforced? Does it conflict with state law, also?

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    If you want to be as paranoid as Rabbit- go ahead and search through our Colorado forum

    You tell me how many of our members were JAILED by law enforcement for OC anywhere but Denver City/County

    Take that number and match against how many of our members openly carried through Colorado without a single problem

    Point made.

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    Regular Member Yooper's Avatar
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    Perhaps you guys should set up a sticky like this one:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum30/13328.html

    This provides all the necessary info needed to OC in MI. Of course, one would be smart to verify all the info for themselves, but with all the pertinent info in one place, it makes it a great starting point for your own research
    Rand Paul 2016

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    Thanks Yooper that's exactly what I'm talking about- we need a sticky like that

    So anyway- Here is a link to the most recent "COP ENCOUNTER" in Boulder for the paranoid members on our board TheDuellist wrote: I've received a call from a VP of B&N and also their District Manager for this district, and both were very conciliatory and apologetic and have said in no uncertain terms that their corporate policy is to honor the state's laws, and that OC where provided by the state will not be prohibited in their stores. They stated that the supervisor that called 911 acted wrongly and "highly inappropriately" and she and the entire district has completed thorough retraining in regards to this event.

    Everyone I spoke to at corporate B&N were very nice and said this event should never have happened. This went very far up the chain (ie I spoke with a VP that reports directly to the president and they said everyone knew about it) and I feel they took it very seriously. Thank you to those who wrote on my behalf; that primed the pump, as it were, as everyone in corporate that I spoke with told me that they had already started to take action just from those emails, and were in the process of contacting the Boulder PD to get my information to give me a call. They seemed very proactive. One VP told me that when her colleague (an ex-army officer) who is also a VP there heard about a former US Marine being disarmed, escorted out, and banned for OC'ing he was furious.

    So, in short, from B&N corporate: in states where OC is provided for by law, their stores will not prohibit you from OC'ing on premise, and they have completed a "retraining" to cover this specific area for sure in my district, and possibly in all of them. A corporate VP as well as the district manager for my district has told me that I am not banned and welcome me back carrying open or concealed.

    Thanks to everyone for your support and advice through all of this.





    That was the worst it got so Give It Up nobody is going to Jail for OC anywhere but Denver. I can't say this enough it seems. Lock this thread- it's done.

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    PS. This is my original thread when I joined OpenCarry.Org

    I was one of these "paranoid" types that wasn't sure where to look for guidance. I had called police departments.. called lawyers.. searched web forums. I want you guys to know (Rabbit) that I was once in the SAME position. I've let it go.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum13/29851.html
    "Complete Local OC Ban List" is the name of the first post I ever made- Trust me- I know how you guys are feeling on these local ordinances- it's terrifying at first.

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    Thanks for the responses, and thanks for letting me beat this dead horse one more time.

    I agree that there should be a sticky, but I also think that it should state all the facts. Something like this:

    1) Boulder does have a municipal ban.
    2) This ban conflicts with state law, and therefore it probably would not hold up in court.
    3) But also keep in mind that this ban has yet to be challenged in court.
    4) But also keep in mind that many people have OC'd in Boulder without incident.

    Even though OC is legal according to state law, I just think people should be aware that there is a very very small chance that it might cost them court and lawyer fees in order to prove that it's legal.

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    Sure but following the SAME logic-

    "there is a very very small chance that it might cost them court and lawyer fees in order to prove that it's legal."- You say

    Well -You could say the same about a lot of things

    AND- Since you are admitting that the court would find it legal in the end- you would then counter file and be awarded a dollar amount to cover All your legal fees and maybe even more for the trouble.

    But I wouldn't sweat the small stuff my friend- like I said you could follow that "very very small chance" logic and find yourself paranoid about everything at every corner.

    Live free brother- you are a free citizen in the United States of America. You are a free man in the State of Colorado. Carry yourself as such, keeping your head up, your temper down, and your thoughts on the future.

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    Cscitney, you obviously have all the answers, so no one should ever question you. :P

    You might want to watch the name calling. It's not necessary.

    I'm pretty sure you've never had significant experience with the legal system. If you think the system is predictable, and that laws mean what they appear to say, you have a lot to learn. Your statement about recovering legal fees demonstrates your naivete.

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    Okay I'm dumb (naive)

    Still can't beat Article II Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of Colorado. :celebrate

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    And we can, at the very least, agree to disagree My friend. Plus you are only trying to help protect me, Marantz, and the rest of our board members from a bad experience and possible jail time. I understand that and I really appreciate your help Rabbit. This topic be settled, we've said almost all there is to say on Both sides, haven't we?

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    Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to reply! I'll keep all this in mind if/when I decide to OC.

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    Several of you missed the point. Do some research, do a search, and there is nothing wrong with reviving an older thread, regardless of how old it is. No sense in re-asking a question that may have been asked and answered, and those in the older threads will likely provide more guidance if it is broght forward or made more current.... This is not the only board I am on and we have threads that a are sometimes 5-6 months old that are responded too and new discussions can continue..

    Sorry, I am not going to debate the finer points of the laws but it has been demonstrated that Boulder is OC unless specifically posted... Thanks.

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