In the Wake of the Mass Shooting in Boulder, Colorado Volunteers Turned their Grief into Action — Testifying in Committee, Rallying, and Calling and Emailing Lawmakers to Urge Action
The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action released the following statement after Colorado Governor Jared Polis today signed three new pieces of gun violence prevention legislation into law — a historic commitment to ending the gun violence crisis in Colorado.
“Today we took a step towards a brighter future where our children will not have to live in fear of gun violence,” said Abbey Winter, a volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This year our community has experienced profound grief and tragedy, but we honor those who were taken by continuing to fight for policies that will end gun violence once and for all. We are thankful that Governor Polis signed these bills into law today.”
“By signing these bills into law, our leaders are showing that our voices have value. There is no doubt that the change we have fought so hard for this session will make a real difference in keeping our communities safer from gun violence,” said Devon Romero, a volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Students Demand Action. “We are proud that Governor Polis and Colorado lawmakers have shown that our state will continue to be a leader in the fight to end gun violence.”
After Coloradans experienced multiple incidents of heartbreaking gun violence this year, Colorado Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers turned their grief into action — resulting in record breaking volunteer engagement and one of the most successful gun violence prevention legislative sessions Colorado has ever seen.
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers showed up and turned out in support of the critical gun safety bills by providing testimony — 32 volunteers testified in 12 committee hearings, in favor of six gun violence prevention bills that passed this session. Colorado volunteers also sent nearly 4,200 emails to lawmakers and 567 volunteers engaged in some type of action to help get a suite of gun violence prevention legislation across the finish line.
The bills Governor Polis signed into law today make up a suite of legislation introduced after the mass shooting in Boulder where 10 people were shot and killed. The crucial legislation signed into law today includes:
- SB21-256 — which would repeal the state’s burdensome preemption law and allow localities to adopt locally tailored solutions to gun violence and regulate where concealed handguns may be carried.
- HB21-1299 — which would establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the Department of Public Health and the Environment to help educate the public, law enforcement, and other stakeholders about Colorado’s gun violence prevention laws, like the secure storage law that just passed and Colorado’s extreme risk law. The Office of Gun Violence Prevention would also be charged with establishing a grant program to help fund violence intervention programs in the communities hardest hit by gun violence.
- HB21-1298 — which would help ensure that people with recent violent criminal convictions cannot access firearms by prohibiting people who have been convicted in the last five years of certain violent misdemeanor crimes, including assault, from purchasing firearms. The bill would also close the Charleston Loophole in Colorado, a loophole which allows people to purchase firearms with an incomplete background check if a background check is not completed in three business days.
From the beginning of this legislative session, Colorado lawmakers were committed to leading on gun violence prevention, passing two bills through the legislature that were signed into law in April:
- HB21-1106 — which will require firearms that a juvenile or prohibited person might be able to access be securely stored when not under the control of the gun owner
- SB21-078 — The Isabella Joy Thallas Act, which will require gun owners to report to law enforcement when a gun is lost or stolen.