In response to terrible mass shootings last year, including the tragic deaths of 12 people and wounding of dozens more at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, progressives in the Colorado legislature unveiled a common-sense package of new legislation yesterday to better protect the citizens of our state from gun violence.
Right wing groups are flooding the airwaves with misinformation about what these proposals would do. We're here to set the record straight: if you own guns, no one is coming to take them. If you are a law-abiding citizen who wants to legally buy a gun, no one is trying to prevent that. This is Colorado, and we respect the rights of our law-abiding neighbors to protect themselves and their families.
Click here to help us cut through the noise, and tell your Colorado legislators it is time for common-sense measures we can take right now to reduce gun violence.
Here are the simple facts on the eight gun violence prevention measures announced yesterday:
Assault Weapon Responsibility Act - (Senate President John Morse, Representative Beth McCann) This bill will create strict liability for manufacturers, sellers, owners, and possessors of firearms, with the exception of handguns, bolt action rifles and shotguns.
Firearm Background Check Modernization Act - (Representative Rhonda Fields, Representative Beth McCann, Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll) This legislation will require background checks for all gun buyers, regardless of how they acquire their guns. The bill also includes provisions to enhance the real-time sharing of mental health data between state and federal agencies; and a provision to allow individuals denied access to firearms to appeal those denials.
High-Capacity Magazine Ban - (Representative Rhonda Fields, Senator Mary Hodge) This bill will ban the sale, transfer, and ownership of all new ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds, after the enactment date of the bill. Additionally, it will prohibit the sale or transfer of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on the date of enactment of the bill.
Mental Health Support - (Representative Beth McCann) The bill directs mental health professionals to notify the CBI if in their professional capacity they conclude that a person poses a danger of serious physical harm to self or others. CBI would then place that person's information into the Insta-background check database so that the person would not be able to purchase a gun. Additionally, the bill would direct that an individual be assessed by a mental health professional for danger to possess a firearm at the time of release from civil commitment, if that commitment was for dangerousness. If the person is assessed dangerous to self or others, the mental health professional would notify CBI so that the person would be flagged in the system. The bill provides an opportunity to have gun rights restored to individuals through the courts.
Domestic Violence Safeguards - (Senator Evie Hudak, Representative Beth McCann) The bill will strengthen the protections in our laws to prevent those who have domestic violence convictions, or protective orders issued against them, from possessing firearms. This will help protect victims of domestic violence from further violence by clarifying state statute to comply with federal regulations and ensure those already convicted of a domestic violence crime, or who have a protective order against them, cannot access weapons.
In-Person Training for Concealed Carry Permits - (Senator Lois Tochtrop, Representative Jenise May) The legislation specifies that concealed carry permit holders, who are not exempt from training, must undergo training in-person. It prohibits training from being done online.
Closing the Background Check State Subsidy - (Representative Lois Court, Senator Rollie Heath) This bill would end an existing state subsidy and could reduce wait times by requiring individuals to pay for their own background checks from the CBI - which cost about $10.
Campus Safety - (Representative Claire Levy, Senator Rollie Heath) This bill clarifies that concealed carry is prohibited in most areas on college campuses in Colorado, including stadiums and arenas, to help keep our young people safe and our college campuses secure from violence.
Yesterday, Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino said it best: "As a civilized society, we cannot stand back and wait for another Columbine, another Aurora." These are some common-sense measures Colorado can take right now to reduce gun violence--and to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them, without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens to own guns.
Click here, and sign our petition in support of the Colorado gun violence prevention legislative package. We will deliver your names and comments to members of the Colorado legislature next week.
It seems like every time this issue is brought up, the extremist right wing tries to irrationally derail the conversation. But Speaker Ferrandino is right: the time is now to take common-sense action to protect our communities from gun violence. Thanks for your help cutting through the noise at this important moment: this time, it could really help save a life.