Phil Helsel
November 6, 2020

Voters in Denver this week overturned the city’s ban on pit bulls.

The vote has not been certified, but the measure Ballot Measure 2J had more than 65 percent of voters approving it, according to the city’s elections division.

The ordinance banning ownership of pit bulls was enacted in 1989 after a number of people had been attacked.

The city council voted to end it in February, but that was vetoed by Mayor Michael Hancock, who cited concerns if someone were hurt following a repeal.

The group Replace Denver BSL in a Facebook post Thursday hailed the result as “an absolutely historic win.” BSL stands for breed-specific legislation.

Related: “Judge deed, not breed,” advocates urge.

While the repeal doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, the city published requirements for pet owners.

Dog owners in Denver are limited to two pit bulls and must get a special permit, which involves showing the animals are microchipped and vaccinated. If there are no incidents like a charged dog bite in three years, the special restrictions can be dropped.

Denver’s ordinance was first enacted after 20 people were attacked by pit bulls in Colorado between 1984 and May 1989, according to a history of the law published in 2005. A 3-year-old was fatally attacked in Denver in October 1986.

Related: The short answer is that pit bulls are dogs — very cute dogs — that face a whole lot of discrimination.

A spokesperson for the mayor told NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver in an email that “while Mayor Hancock has always been forthright in sharing he could not, in good conscious, sign the bill to overturn Denver’s pit bull ban, he has also been very clear he supported putting this decision in the hands of Denver voters.”

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