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 the Colorado House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee advanced HB21-1299, a bill that would establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the Department of Public Health and the Environment. The bill now moves to the House Appropriations Committee.
This bill is part of a suite of gun violence prevention measures introduced last week with the intention of preventing tragedies like the recent 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.
“This bill would put Colorado at the forefront of the gun violence prevention movement,” said Julie Carr, volunteer with Colorado Moms Demand Action. “Establishing the Office of Gun Violence Prevention opens the door for additional support for community initiatives that have been successfully combating community violence and provides vital education on Colorado’s gun safety laws to ensure they can be as effective as possible. By advancing this bill, the Committee took steps to better the way our state responds to gun violence and make Colorado a safer place.”
“My whole life it feels like lawmakers have been reacting to tragedies rather than proactively preventing them,” said Devon Romero, a volunteer with Students Demand Action at the University of Colorado Boulder. “By raising awareness about gun violence prevention and providing an opportunity for funding for community-based intervention programs, this bill would change the way Colorado responds to gun violence before it happens. I’m thankful our legislators are in this fight with us to end gun violence in our state.”
What to know about HB21-1299:
- 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 would also be charged with establishing a grant program to help fund violence intervention programs in the communities hardest hit by gun violence.
- Violence intervention programs provide evidence-based, community-informed, comprehensive support to individuals who are at greatest risk of gunshot victimization and experiencing gun violence. These programs are shown to reduce gunshot woundings and deaths in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.
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.