The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Colorado House State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs committee voted to advance HB22-1086, a bill to prohibit the open carry of firearms near polling locations and other electoral facilities. Moms Demand Action volunteers testified in support of the legislation during today’s hearing. HB22-1086 is now eligible for a vote of the full House of Representatives.
“Allowing open carry of firearms near polling places intimidates citizens, emboldens extremists, and places voters in potentially dangerous situations,” said Jessica Price, a volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our state has been a leader in the fight to end gun violence over the past several years, but there is still more work to be done to protect our communities. This crucial bill will not only protect Coloradans from gun violence, but will also protect our democratic process. We look forward to working with our lawmakers to swiftly pass this bill into law.”
HB22-1086 would prohibit armed intimidation at polling places and vote counting facilities, protecting democracy during the electoral process. From January 2020 through June 2021 there were 560 documented armed demonstrations in the United States. 1 in 6 of those occurred on the grounds of government buildings like statehouses or vote counting facilities.
Current law generally prohibits the carrying of a firearm on property or within a building where legislative hearings or meetings are held. HB 22-1086 would extend this prohibition to other facilities critical to the functioning of our democracy by prohibiting openly carrying firearms near polling locations and other vote counting facilities.
Learn more about gun violence in Colorado here.