Colorado Lawmakers Introduce Gun Safety Legislation Following Recent Acts of Gun Violence
Washington, DC — Just one month after a tragic mass shooting that killed ten people in Boulder, Colorado, legislators today introduced three bills that will strengthen background checks, reform a preemption law to allow localities to regulate firearms, and establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention to promote public education about laws and resources available to help prevent gun violence, as well as authorize a violence intervention grant program. Giffords commended Colorado Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg and House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, along with several other lawmakers, for introducing the legislation.
“Colorado lawmakers understand that when lives are at risk from gun violence, swift action is required,” said Nico Bocour, Government Affairs Director. “The recent horrific mass shooting at the King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado, once again left a community in Colorado devastated. In addition to the tragedy last month, gun violence in the state and across the nation has surged over the past year. The bills being introduced today will help to reduce gun violence in the state and protect Colorado families. We applaud the legislators who are stepping up and demonstrating the courage to act in the face of tragedy.”
“Colorado families have experienced far too many tragedies from gun violence,” said Whitney Toutenhoofd, steering committee member of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety Colorado chapter. ”As a resident of Boulder and a gun owner, I understand the important role that gun safety laws and responsible gun ownership have in ensuring Colorado families can live without fear of gun violence everyday. We thank Colorado lawmakers for offering these solutions that will make a true difference in saving lives and we stand ready to do all we can to get them passed into law.”
The bills introduced today will:
- Prohibit people from passing background checks for five years after they have been convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, including hate crimes.
- Close the Charleston Loophole by ensuring that people prohibited from possessing firearms are not able to obtain them by default because of an incomplete background check.
- Revise the state preemption laws to make it clear that localities can enact local gun safety ordinances in most areas tailored to the needs of their communities.
- Establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention to promote public awareness and education about gun safety laws and resources available to help prevent gun violence, including extreme risk and domestic violence protection orders. The Office would also be authorized to oversee grants for community violence programs and support access to data and research about gun violence’s causes and solutions.
According to Giffords Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard, Colorado received a C+ due to its significant recent progress on gun safety. Last month, Colorado enacted two new laws that would require the reporting of lost and stolen firearms and the safe storage of firearms. In 2019, Colorado passed an extreme risk protection order law, facilitating the temporary removal of firearms from people found, through a court process, to present an extreme risk of violence. In 2017, Colorado had the 24th-highest gun death rate among the states, and exported roughly the same number of crime guns it imported.
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