FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2021
New Gun Violence Prevention Legislative Package Will Save Lives in Colorado
Colorado legislators urged to action by constituents following Boulder supermarket shooting
Denver — Following last month’s mass shooting in a King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado residents have been urging action on gun violence prevention. In a state that has seen its tragic share of high profile shootings and a persistently high rate of gun suicides, Colorado legislators have heard the calls to action and introduced a comprehensive gun violence prevention legislative package that will address and reduce all forms of gun violence.
The legislation focuses on three primary sections.
- Allow Local Regulation of Firearms Colorado is a large and diverse state with different areas requiring different sets of laws to keep their citizens and families safe and secure. The 2003 gun lobby-led law preventing cities and counties from enacting their own gun violence prevention laws is irresponsible and dangerous. This legislation would both repeal the majority of the 2003 gun lobby-led preemption law and give cities, counties, special districts and governing bodies of colleges and universities their own control over the public safety regulations of their communities, including restrictions on carrying of concealed weapons in public buildings.
- Improve the background check system. These improvements to Colorado’s background check system would (1) prevent those convicted of certain violent misdemeanors in the past five years from being able to purchase guns and (2) close the ‘Charleston” loophole, ensuring that a gun is not sold to someone until the background check is complete and approval is granted.
- Funding Measures. This legislation would establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which would coordinate and promote effective efforts to reduce gun violence. One important function will be to increase the awareness of, and educate the general public on state and federal laws, especially as to how citizens can utilize Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) law, helping prevent mass shootings and reduce firearm suicides. Another of Office will be funding initiatives that are focused on interrupting cycles of gun violence through programs that are evidence-based and have demonstrated promise.
The 2021 Colorado General Assembly has already made great strides to reduce gun violence in Colorado, with Governor Polis signing the “Promoting Child Safety Through Responsible Firearm Safety Act” and the “Isabella Joy Thallas Act” into law but the work to save lives in The Centennial State is not finished.
“Coloradans deserve the right to live free from gun violence. For far too long we have been a state with the unfortunate distinction of being home to some of the most horrific mass shootings in American history, coupled with high gun suicide rates that don’t garner news coverage. This legislative package is an important step in reducing those gun deaths and making Colorado a safer place for all of its citizens,” said Colorado Ceasefire Legislative Action President Eileen McCarron. “This legislative package would enable Colorado local jurisdictions to pass regulations that will protect their communities from gun violence. Colorado is not a one-size-fits-all state and different localities need different tools at their disposal to reduce gun violence rates. It also greatly strengthens our background checks system and provides vital funding to ensure that our Extreme Risk Protection Orders law is utilized effectively and that funding can be directed to vital evidence-based violence interruption programs which take a proactive approach to addressing this epidemic”
Colorado Ceasefire thanks Senators Stephen Fenberg, Rhonda Fields, Julie Gonzales, Chris Hansen and Dominick Moreno, Brittany Pettersen and Representatives Judy Amabile, Jennifer Bacon, Lindsey Daugherty, Edie Hooton, Tom Sullivan and Steven Woodrow for introducing these legislative proposals. We strongly encourage lawmakers from all political stripes to support these common sense measures and take action to pass this legislation and send it to Governor Polis’ desk. These laws will make Colorado a safer, better place for all.
Colorado Ceasefire has been working for freedom from gun violence since 2000. Ceasefire initiated and was instrumental in the enactment of the 2013 Colorado firearms laws, which included universal background checks, a high-capacity magazine ban, and domestic violence firearms relinquishment. Ceasefire began advocating for an Extreme Risk law in 2016, which became effective January 1st of 2020.