Colorado lawmakers have passed five gun bills this year in a state that already has seen at least two of its deadliest mass shootings, and one more piece of gun legislation is expected to join the roster.
The Senate gave final approval Thursday night to SB21-256, a bill that allows local governments to enact stricter gun laws than the state’s.
It was part of a package of three gun bills that Democratic lawmakers introduced after the Boulder King Soopers shooting. Another passed earlier this week and will be sent to Gov. Jared Polis — HB21-1299 would create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention — and the third, HB21-1298, to expand background checks for firearm purchases is likely to get final approval from the House in the coming days.
“Every year, it seems we are shocked by a horrific mass shooting that shakes us to our core. But it’s the countless other shootings happening every day that represent the deadliest component of this crisis,” Lakewood Democratic Sen. Brittany Pettersen said in a statement this week.
Republicans in both chambers opposed the gun bills, saying they were not getting at the root of the problem. It’s why GOP Rep. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs doesn’t believe the bills will reduce crime, either.
He called the gun legislation an overreach by Democrats and said “all these measures do is punish law-abiding citizens who want to defend themselves and they empower criminals who endanger our neighborhoods.”
Prior to the shooting, lawmakers were considering three other gun bills, two of which have since been signed into law. HB21-1106 requires the safe storage of guns in homes to ensure that minors and people not allowed to have guns don’t have access to them. SB21-078 requires lost or stolen firearms be reported to authorities within five days of finding out they’re gone.
The third bill, HB21-1255, is aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers; it passed the legislature earlier this week and is headed to Polis’ desk.
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