Democratic lawmakers in Colorado plan to introduce at least three gun control legislation this year, including a measure that could require a waiting period – perhaps five days – between when someone buys a firearm and when they have access to that weapon.
The other two bills require gun owners to store their weapons safely and inform authorities if one of their firearms is lost or stolen.
“This will not end the gun violence crisis in our society,” said State Representative Tom Sullivan, a centenarian Democrat whose son Alex was killed in a shooting at the Aurora Theater in 2012. But it will help reduce it. “
While other gun control policies run by Democrats from Colorado in the past decade have focused on mass shootings, this year’s bills are primarily aimed at reducing shootings and suicides, legislative sponsors say. Sullivan says he will champion bills that impose a mandatory waiting period and require people to report lost or stolen firearms.
Gun control legislation used to be a politically charged topic for Colorado Democrats. In 2012, two Democratic senators were recalled and a third resigned after lawmakers passed a series of gun control bills. Republicans also seized the majority in the Senate, following the measures taken.
But after the passage of the so-called Red Flag Act of 2019 allowing judges to order temporary confiscation of weapons from someone deemed a danger to themselves or others, Republicans attempted to summon several Democratic lawmakers – including Sullivan – and failed. Democrats have maintained their majority in the state assembly and are encouraged to go ahead with more new gun regulations.
The main challenge facing the sponsors of the three gun control bills due to be introduced this year is to persuade their Democratic colleagues to vote “yes” to them.
The proposed waiting period in Colorado will be shorter than in another state
Of the three measures slated to be introduced this year, the waiting period bill is likely to be the most controversial.
Ten states and the District of Columbia Waiting periods Applies to gun purchase, according to the Giffords Law Center for Weapon Violence Prevention. Hawaii has the strictest of these laws, requiring 14 days between when someone buys a gun and when they can access it. In California, the waiting period is 10 days.
Rep. Stephen Woodrow, a Denver Democrat, works with Sullivan on the waiting time scale. The plan is to push for a five-day waiting period in Colorado, though that has yet to be finalized.
“I think the data shows that waiting-time bills help reduce firearm suicide as well as firearm-related violence,” Woodrow said.
The RAND Corporation has found these waiting times It can have a moderate effect To reduce suicide and other violent crime.
Sullivan pointed out The Jennifer Laber Affair As evidence of why waiting period billing is necessary. Highlands Ranch’s mother bought two young children a firearm hours before taking her kids out of school and then shot and killed them in the loading dock area of a closed Sports Authority store.
He also highlighted the case of Saul Pace, who flew from Florida to Colorado and caused panic at the top and bottom of the front range over her alleged infatuation with the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. When Countrywide arrived in Colorado, she quickly bought a rifle. She later died of wounds sustained with a pistol at the base of Mount Evans.
Sullivan said delaying someone’s ability to have access to a firearm until just a few days will make a big difference in stopping suicide.
He said, “If we can keep the most lethal means in terms of their completion of that, if we can get (weapons) out of their hands for only a few days, then there is a good chance that we can save some lives.”
The National Venice Association disagrees. The group says that “the waiting period is an arbitrary imposition that has no effect on crime or suicide.”
Rep. Dave Williams, a Republican from Colorado Springs and a fierce opponent of firearms rules, said the bills represent “burdensome restrictions” on gun owners.
Rep. Dave Williams, a Republican from Colorado Springs, said, “I haven’t read the bills, but just from the general concept of them I think it’s very likely that I will oppose them all.” “I don’t think that is the way we need to tackle the problem. Violence will happen regardless of the weapons available on the street.”
He believes that Colorado voters will fight the Democrats if they pass the legislation. “If they try to engage in this overreach, it could hurt their prospects in 2022,” said Williams.
Safe storage, reporting bills will be very similar to legislation passed in 2020
Rep. Kyle Molika, a Democrat from North Glen, will bring the bill for the safe storage. The measure is virtually identical to that he introduced last year, which was lifted after the coronavirus pandemic shortened the length of law enactment for 2020.
The legislation imposes ends and possibly even a prison sentence on gun owners who do not use a safe, trigger lock, or cable lock when storing their weapons. It will also require gun stores to distribute trigger locks or cables with each sale or transfer of a firearm.
The idea, Molika said, was to send a message to gun owners that keeping a firearm under their pillow is not good.
“At the end of the day, we really wrote this law in a way that does not violate people’s rights,” Molika said.
Other countries already It has laws on safe storage, Including Connecticut, California, and New York. Even Texas, the gun-loving conservative nation, has it Laws Aiming at – aiming at Keep firearms away from children.
The measure requiring gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm is defended by Sullivan and Senator-elect Sonia Jacques Lewis, a Boulder County Democrat. It is also designed similar to the legislation in other countries.
The bill would require gun owners to report a lost or stolen pistol to authorities within a specified period of time – likely a few days – or else they would face a $ 25 fine and a minor offense.
“We know that the vast majority of gun owners in Colorado have a responsibility, but we still have, unfortunately, people who don’t know where their firearms are,” said Jacques Lewis. “It’s an awareness bill. It’s an education bill.”
Like the Safe Storage Bill, the mandatory reporting procedure is similar to the measure introduced last year and then increased due to the pandemic.
Jacques Lewis believes your action could have prevented the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Isabella Thalas in downtown Denver last year. The alleged gunman with an AK-47 rifle he stole from a Denver Police Sergeant in the shooting, According to 9News. The loss of the gun was only reported after a police sergeant realized it may have been used in a crime, the TV station says.
The main message you’re trying to send is: “If you have a weapon, we ask you to know where it is at all times.”
The National Rifle Association opposed both safe storage and mandatory reporting bills last year. Greg Brophy, a former state Senator who was representing the group, said stockpile requirements criminalize law-abiding gun owner’s right to self-protection while authorizing reporting could incriminate someone who was a victim of theft.
Jacques Lewis said she was not concerned about the political backlash from carrying out the measure.
“I think society demands that,” she said. “I know that constituents are.”
Sullivan, the state actor whose son was killed in the Aurora Theater shooting, says he expects a negative reaction from the Conservatives.
He said, “I tell people all the time, ‘I’m planning to call me again.”
But Sullivan said he was not worried and political threats would not change him or how he thinks and talks about gun control legislation.
He said, “I am not afraid of them.”
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