The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements after lawmakers in Colorado House State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee and the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee advanced four gun violence prevention bills after hearing testimony from key stakeholders, including several volunteers.
“Over the past 36 hours, we turned out, showed up, and raised our voices — and Colorado legislators listened,” said Nicole LiaBraaten, volunteer with Colorado Moms Demand Action. “The gun safety legislation that passed out of committee will make a real difference in the lives of Coloradans, and help create a future where tragedies like the Boulder and Colorado Springs shootings, and the scourge of daily gun violence across our state, are a thing of the past. I urge both chambers to quickly advance these bills to the Governor’s desk.”
“I’m thrilled that we are one step closer to passing not just one, but several bills into law that will make real strides towards keeping us safe from the threat of gun violence,” said Charlotte Combe, a volunteer with Students Demand Action and junior at Lakewood High School. “The issue is just too important — that’s why I testified at one in the morning, just hours before a math final — I know that we can’t rest until all of these bills are finally law, and our communities are better protected from the heartbreak and pain of gun violence.”
The bills that passed out of committee include:
- SB21-256 passed out of committee to the House floor. The bill would repeal provisions of the state’s burdensome preemption law and allow localities to adopt locally tailored solutions to gun violence. SB21-256 would also allow localities and colleges to regulate where concealed handguns may be carried.
- HB21-1298 passed out of committee to the Senate floor. The bill would help ensure that people with recent violent criminal convictions cannot access firearms by prohibiting people who have been convicted in the last five years of certain violent misdemeanor crimes, including assault, from purchasing firearms. The bill would also close the Charleston Loophole in Colorado, a loophole which allows people to purchase firearms with an incomplete background check if a background check is not completed in three business days.
- HB21-1299 passed out of committee and was sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill that would establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the Department of Public Health and the Environment. In addition to its other duties, the office would be charged with helping to educate the public, law enforcement, and other stakeholders about Colorado’s gun violence prevention laws, like the secure storage law that just passed and Colorado’s extreme risk law. The Office of Gun Violence Prevention would also be charged with establishing a grant program to help fund violence intervention programs in the communities hardest hit by gun violence.
- Additionally, the Senate State, Veteran, & Military Affairs Committee heard testimony on HB21-1255, which would help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers by strengthening the rules for firearm relinquishment. The bill was passed out of committee and sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
These bills make up a suite of gun violence prevention measures introduced last month with the intention of preventing tragedies like the mass shooting in Boulder, in which ten people were shot and killed, as well as the hundreds of lives taken and forever changed by gun violence every day.
Statistics about gun violence in Colorado are available here, and information on how Colorado’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.