Following Countless Hours Spent Testifying, Rallying, Walking Out of Classes, And Digital Campaign Efforts by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers, Colorado Ends Session Passing Five Critical Gun Safety Bills
DENVER – As the Colorado legislature closed out their 2023 session, the Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the Colorado legislature passing a historic number of gun violence prevention bills. The legislative session came following a year of horrific gun violence – in 2022, there were at least 26 mass shootings across the country, including two in Colorado – one in Aurora in October, and another in Colorado Springs in November and just this year, there were multiple incidents of gun fire impacting Colorado schools and continued daily devastation of gun violence across the state.
“Communities and families across Colorado continue to be traumatized by gun violence. This session, Colorado lawmakers showed that they care about our lives by prioritizing gun violence prevention measures,” said Linda Magid, a volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While we are thankful leaders listened and acted on our cries for action, gun violence is an epidemic, and we must ensure these new measures are fully implemented and take additional steps to keep communities safe. We look forward to continuing working with Colorado lawmakers, and we won’t stop fighting for gun safety.”
“Young people continue to bear the burden of our gun violence crisis — but we’re also leading the fight to end it,” said Kimaya Kini, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Colorado and lead for Cherry Creek Students Demand Action. “Gun safety bills like raising the age of firearm purchase and regulating ghost guns, are critical and foundation gun safety bills. While passing these bills is a historic step, we know this is only step one. We will continue advocating to make necessary change and show Americans what it means to turn anger into action and hope into progress.”
Due to the relentless advocacy by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, Colorado lawmakers made gun safety their priority during the 2023 session. Moms Demand Action volunteers stood by Colorado lawmakers as they introduced a gun violence prevention legislative package, and with Colorado Governor Jared Polis as he later signed them into law. The historic bills include:
- Legislation to strengthen Colorado’s Extreme Risk protection law;
- Legislation to help hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis;
- Legislation to raise the age requirement for firearm purchases to 21 years old;
- Legislation to create a mandatory firearm purchase waiting period.
- Legislation to address the threat of ghost guns — unserialized, untraceable homemade firearms, the building blocks of which can be obtained without a background check — was introduced on April 14th and passed on May 5th. It now awaits signing by Governor Polis.
In an average year, 930 people die and 466 are wounded by guns in Colorado. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Colorado, and an average of 79 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 51% are suicides and 45% are homicides. Gun violence in Colorado costs $2,039 per resident each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost Colorado $11.7 billion each year, of which $156.1 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Colorado is available here.