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VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Colorado Governor Polis Signs Another Critical Gun Safety Bill To Implement a State Firearm Dealer Licensing System

June 7, 2024

During The 2024 Legislative Session, Colorado Lawmakers Passed Six Gun Safety Bills, All Which Have Now Become Law

Governor Polis Signs Gun Safety Legislation on National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Ahead of Wear Orange Weekend, June 8–9. 

DENVER — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding Colorado Governor Jared Polis for signing into law a critical gun violence prevention bill earlier today. This critical gun safety bill will institute a state firearm dealer licensing system. Last week, he also signed a policy to expand training requirements for permits to carry concealed handguns in Colorado and legislation to prohibit the carrying of firearms in sensitive spaces, including polling places and all schools. Governor Polis’ executive action comes on National Gun Violence Awareness Day,  Friday, June 7, and ahead of Wear Orange weekend, June 8–9. The Governor has now signed six gun violence prevention laws into law this year.

“Twenty-five years after the mass shooting at Columbine High School, Colorado lawmakers continue to honor all the victims and survivors of gun violence by taking action to prevent future tragedies,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The laws Governor Polis signed today will go a long way toward keeping guns out of sensitive places and dangerous hands.”

“Seeing these bills become law is what it looks like to meaningfully honor gun violence survivors with action,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Progress like this doesn’t happen overnight. Colorado has become a national leader in gun violence prevention due to years of advocacy led by volunteers, survivors, students and other advocates who are all fed up with living in a constant cycle of gun violence. We are proud that Colorado lawmakers are standing up to the gun lobby’s ‘guns everywhere’ agenda and prioritizing the safety of their communities.”

“For a generation that’s been taught how to hide from a shooter before learning to tie our shoes, wins like today make all the difference.” said Stella Kaye, a volunteer with Denver East Students Demand Action and Students Demand Action National Organizing Board member. “Students know the cost of weak gun laws, and we’re tired of paying that price with our lives. We thank Governor Polis and the gun-sense champions in the legislature who heard us, worked with us, and uplifted our voices to pass these bills. But the work doesn’t stop here; we’ll be back until our communities are free from gun violence. 

Colorado is a national leader in gun violence prevention. Colorado ranks 11th in gun law strength in the nation, rising in the rankings after passing laws in 2023 to hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for the harms they cause, raise the age to purchase a firearm, stem the proliferation of ghost guns, and institute a waiting period for firearm sales. During the 2024 legislative session, the Colorado legislature built on these successes and passed six gun safety measures, which the Governor has now signed into law, including:

  • Legislation that would require retail firearm dealers to obtain a state permit to sell firearms in Colorado. Additionally, this bill will require firearm dealers and employees to undergo background checks, receive training, and implement security measures; 
  • A measure to support investigations by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of attempted illegal firearm purchases;
  • A policy to require secure storage of firearms in cars — addressing gun crimes in Colorado;
  • Legislation to expand training requirements for permits to carry concealed handguns in Colorado. This bill would help foster responsible gun ownership by requiring concealed carry permit holders to undergo more extensive training;
  • A policy to prohibit the carrying of firearms in sensitive spaces, including polling places and all schools, and 
  • Legislation to require credit card companies and other financial institutions that process payments to develop a code specifically for the purchase of firearms and related products. 

During the 2024 legislation session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers advocated tirelessly for this and other gun safety legislation. Students skipped class to testify at the statehouse to keep guns out of their classrooms. Moms Demand Action volunteers hosted over 100 people at the capitol for advocacy day. Students and volunteers testified for over a dozen gun violence prevention bills — submitting over a hundred testimonies. 

In an average year, 951 people die and 1,392 are wounded by guns in Colorado. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Colorado, and an average of 84 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 48% are suicides and 47% 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.

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