The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Colorado Senate passed HB22-1086, The Vote Without Fear Act, which will prohibit the open carry of firearms near polling locations and other electoral facilities. HB22-1086 now moves to Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ desk. Colorado Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers testified in support of the bill throughout the legislative process.
“We’re proud that our lawmakers continue to prove their commitment to gun safety by sending a bill to protect our democratic process from armed intimidation to the Governor’s desk,” said Barbara Niederhoff, a volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Openly carrying firearms near polling places threatens the democratic process, intimidates voters, and emboldens extremists. Governor Polis should follow his strong record of prioritizing gun violence prevention policies and sign this critical bill.”
Colorado’s current law generally prohibits the open carrying of a firearm on property or within a building where legislative hearings or meetings are held. HB22-1086 would extend this prohibition to other facilities critical to the functioning of our democracy during the electoral process by prohibiting the open carry of firearms near polling locations and other vote counting facilities. From January 2020 through June 2021 there were 560 documented armed demonstrations in the United States. 1 in 6 of those occurred on the grounds of government buildings like statehouses or vote counting facilities.
Learn more about gun violence in Colorado here.