As the Colorado legislature returns to Denver for the start of the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers will again have the opportunity to protect Coloradans by continuing to prioritize common-sense gun safety bills and protecting communities from gun violence. Gun violence prevention is more important than ever in the new year as the pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence and after a year of increased gun sales, increased calls to domestic violence hotlines, and an increase in city gun violence.
After Coloradans experienced multiple incidents of heartbreaking gun violence last year, including the shooting in Boulder, Colorado Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers turned their grief into action — resulting in record breaking volunteer engagement and one of the most successful gun violence prevention legislative sessions Colorado has ever seen. Lawmakers took historic steps forward, passing multiple bills to protect Colorado communities, including laws that now close the Charleston loophole, establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention, repeal the preemption law that prevented local governments from enacting gun safety measures, ensure secure firearm storage, and keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
This session, Colorado lawmakers must continue to be leaders in the fight to end gun violence by continuing to pass gun safety bills and ensure that the newly established Office of Gun Violence Prevention has sustainable funding to support their life-saving work in the years to come.
Last week, the Denver City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the possession and purchase of ghost guns – unserialized, untraceable homemade firearms, the building blocks of which can be obtained without a background check. This historic ghost gun prohibition marks the first time a municipality in Colorado has passed an ordinance strengthening local gun safety laws after preemption was repealed. Lawmakers and local leaders should continue the good work and prioritize solutions to all types of gun violence.
What to know about gun violence in Colorado:
- In an average year, around 800 people die and more than 350 people are wounded by guns in Colorado.
- Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Colorado. Black children and teens in Colorado are disproportionately more likely than their white peers to die by guns.
- Gun violence costs Colorado $5.6 billion each year, of which $170.2 million is paid by taxpayers.