It’s the first day of Spring and Colorado lawmakers are in for a long day of discussing gun laws

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    03_19_24_am_headlines Alexis Kenyon


New  assault weapons bans may have a better shot this year

State lawmakers today plan to begin debate over a new measure to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons in Colorado. Legislators have scheduled a hearing for House Bill 24-1292, which identifies “certain weapons used in mass shootings.” The bill would prohibit anyone from making, purchasing, selling, or importing an assault weapon.

According to The Denver Post, hundreds of people are scheduled to testify for and against the bill cosponsored by progressive Denver Democrats Elizabeth Epps and Tim Hernandez today.  Last year’s hearing for a similar bill that was voted down lasted over 12 hours.

This year, however, the committee voting on the bill has changed, according to Colorado Politics. 

House Speaker Lisa McLusky, in an attempt to make the committee reflect more “progressive viewpoints,” removed two Democrats who voted against the bill last year and replaced them with two more progressive Democrats.

The bill’s  language states that assault weapons are “uniquely lethal by design” and “disproportionately used in public mass shootings.” It argues that assault weapons “are not well-suited for self-defense, hunting … or any purpose other than mass killing.”

If it becomes law, the new measure would not apply to military or law enforcement members.


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Denver City Council considers soda ban

The Denver City Council is considering a ban on soft drinks appearing on children’s menus in restaurants. If it passes, the measure would mean that restaurants in Denver could only offer water or milk as the default beverage option on combination meals on children’s menus. Parents or their children would still be able to request a soft drink.

Deliberations on the proposal were set to begin yesterday, with a vote expected at City Council’s next meeting. The Denver Gazette says that similar bans are already on the books in Lafayette, and Golden.

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Colorado is cracking down on grass

The State of Colorado has passed a new law banning the installation of new, nonfunctional grass to conserve water. Governor Jared Polis signed the new ban into law last Friday. The ban prohibits installing new invasive plants and artificial turf on commercial, industrial, and state government properties, including those along roads and parking lots.

Parks, sports fields, and playgrounds are also exempt, according to The Denver Post.

The Post says that more than half of state water goes into maintenance of these kinds of properties. The law also includes a ban on artificial turf, which contains harmful chemicals that make their way into streams and contribute to a phenomenon known as the heat island effect.

The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2026, except for the ban on state government properties, which is effective on the first day of 2025.

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Boulder Shelter Turned away unhoused people during last week’s storm

Despite increasing its capacity from 160 to 180 beds, the Boulder shelter for the homeless had to turn away four people during last week’s snowstorm for the first time this season.

Unlike in previous freezing winter weather, Boulder did not open an extra emergency shelter.

Last week’s storm dropped 18 inches of heavy snow on parts of Boulder, meeting criteria for what the shelter terms a “critical weather night.”  The Boulder Reporting Lab says that typically, when people are turned away they receive a bus ticket, a blanket, and some food.

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CU March Madness

The CU men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed to the NCAA basketball tournament and so is the CSU men’s team. The CSU Rams play later today, taking on Virginia in Dayton, Ohio. The winner of that game travels to Charlotte and a game against 7-seed Texas.

The CU men’s team is also playing in Dayton, taking on Boise State tomorrow. That game’s winner advances to Indianapolis, and a game against 7-seed Florida. The CU women’s team is making its third straight tournament appearance, playing 12-seed Drake in Manhattan, Kansas on Friday.

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Today is the first day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring – known as the Vernal Equinox. That means that for now, at least, we’ll have roughly equal amounts of daylight and darkness and the days will start getting longer. They’ll keep getting longer until the summer solstice on June 20. To be specific, the vernal equinox is officially at 11:06 tonight.

In the weather for this first day of spring, it will feel like spring, with sunny skies and highs into the sixties across the metro area. In Boulder, look for a high today of 59 degrees … 63 in Denver, 62 in Fort Collins, and in Nederland, a little cooler, with the high expected to be 46 degrees.

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Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon is an experienced radio reporter with more than 15 years of experience creating compelling, sound-rich radio stories for news outlets across the country. Kenyon has master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism in radio broadcast and photojournalism. She has worked in KGNU's news department since 2021 as a reporter, editor, and daily news producer. In all her work, she strives to produce thought-provoking, trustworthy journalism that makes other people's stories feel personal. In addition to audio production, Kenyon runs KGNU's news internship program and oversees the department's digital engagement.

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