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VICTORY FOR GUN SENSE: Colorado Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statement on End of Landmark Legislative Session for Gun Violence Prevention

June 9, 2021

Colorado Lawmakers Monday Night Sent the Governor the Final Bill in a Suite of Critical Gun Violence Prevention Bills 

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Mobilized in Favor of the Bills, Testifying in Committee, and Calling, Texting, and Emailing Lawmakers to Urge Action

The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements after Colorado legislators adjourned sine die last night after passing critical legislation over the past week which would close gaps in the state’s background check system, establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention, allow localities to adopt locally-tailored gun violence prevention measures, and keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers through stronger firearm relinquishment rules. All four bills now head to the Governor’s desk.

This session, Moms Demand Action volunteers and supporters sent over 4,100 emails to Colorado lawmakers asking them to advance critical gun violence prevention bills through the legislature. Volunteers also testified at hearings in support of all six pieces of gun violence prevention legislation that passed the Colorado legislature this session.

“I’m grateful that Colorado legislators took a stand this session and committed to creating a better world where our children will not have to bear the burden of tragedies like the recent shootings in Boulder and Colorado Springs, and the daily gun violence that devastates communities across our state every day,” said Virginia Hrywnak, a volunteer with Colorado Moms Demand Action. “This was a landmark legislative session for gun violence prevention — but we will not breathe a sigh of relief knowing we are better protected from the threat of gun violence until these bills are signed into law. I urge Governor Polis to sign these critical pieces of legislation as quickly as possible.”

“Over the past week and all throughout this legislative session, Colorado lawmakers have shown they are willing to do what it takes to protect our communities and keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them,” said Devon Romero, a volunteer with Students Demand Action at the University of Colorado Boulder. “The protections outlined in all four of these bills that passed recently will go a long way towards creating a future free from the threat of gun violence. There is only one hurdle left — we cannot rest until Governor Polis puts pen to paper and turns these lifesaving bills into law.”

The Colorado House Monday night concurred with Senate amendments and passed HB21-1298, legislation which 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.

The Colorado Senate last week concurred with House amendments and passed SB21-256, which would repeal provisions of the state’s burdensome preemption law and allow localities to adopt locally tailored solutions to gun violence and regulate where concealed handguns may be carried. 

On Tuesday, June 1, the Colorado Senate passed HB21-1299, legislation which would establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the Department of Public Health and the Environment to help 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 Senate also passed HB21-1255, which would help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers by strengthening the rules for firearm relinquishment. 

These bills make up a suite of gun violence prevention measures introduced in April with the intention of preventing tragedies like the mass shooting in Boulder, in which ten people were shot and killed, and the mass shooting in Colorado Springs in which six people were shot and killed in an act of domestic violence, as well as the hundreds of lives taken and forever changed by gun violence every day.

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers passed two additional pieces of gun violence prevention legislation that were signed into law by Governor Polis in April:

  • HB21-1106, which will require firearms that a juvenile or prohibited person might be able to access be securely stored when not under the control of the gun owner
  • SB21-078, The Isabella Joy Thallas Act, which will require gun owners to report to law enforcement when a gun is lost or stolen.

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

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