VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Surrounded by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers and Gun Violence Survivors, Colorado Governor Polis Signs Four Historic Gun Safety Bills into Law
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Rallied at the Capitol, Testified at All Legislative Hearings, Traveled Across the State to Urge Lawmakers to Pass Critical Legislation; Colorado Senate Advanced Legislation to Address the Threat of Ghost Guns
Lawmakers and Gun Safety Advocates to Hold Presser Following Signing to Celebrate Historic Bill Package.
DENVER — The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements today after Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed four critical gun safety bills into law. The life-saving measures seek to strengthen Colorado’s Extreme Risk law, raise the age for purchase of a firearm, hold the gun industry accountable for its role in our nation’s gun violence crisis, and create a mandatory waiting period for purchasing a firearm. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, gun violence survivors, and Everytown for Gun safety leadership, including Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Executive Director of Moms Demand Action, stood with the Governor as he signed the bills into law. Lawmakers and a coalition of Colorado gun safety advocates will hold a presser on historic bill package signing today at 10:20 AM MT on the West steps of the Colorado State Capitol.
“Every state in the union has something to learn from Colorado, which has consistently responded to horrific mass shootings with lifesaving laws, not just empty rhetoric,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This slate of lifesaving bills will go a long way toward keeping guns out of dangerous hands, which is key to preventing gun violence.”
“This massive victory for gun safety is further proof of the political powerhouse that Colorado Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have become, and that in order to take substantive action to save lives from gun violence we must elect strong gun sense champions,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “For years volunteers and survivors of gun violence have shown up and testified at hearings, sent hundreds of calls and emails to lawmakers, students have marched out of school and returned day after day to demand they deserve better than fearing for their lives at school. The unglamorous heavy lifting of grassroots advocacy is what helped make this possible and we look forward to continuing to build on this historic progress.”
“Today we’re honoring the Coloradan lives stolen by gun violence with action that will help save others and prevent senseless tragedies,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of Colorado gun sense champion lawmakers in the House and the Senate, and the grassroots gun violence prevention movement – including Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors – gun safety will be the law of the land in Colorado.”
“Across the country and right here in Colorado, my generation is bearing the burden of our gun violence crisis — but we’re also leading the fight to end it,” said Gracie Taub, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Colorado and co-lead for Denver East High School Students Demand Action. “Today, Colorado is taking a historic step in prioritizing our safety, yet we know the fight is not over. We will continue to work with our lawmakers to make necessary change and show Americans what it means to turn anger into action and hope into progress.”
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have been at the forefront of advocating for this package, attending and testifying at hearings, meeting with legislators, and advocating for these life saving measures.
In February, Moms Demand Action volunteers stood by Colorado lawmakers as they introduced a gun violence prevention legislative package. The package introduction came following 2022, a year that saw at least 26 mass shootings across the country, including two in Colorado – one in Aurora in October, and another in Colorado Springs in November. The historic bills introduced include:
- Legislation to strengthen Colorado’s Extreme Risk protection law;
- Legislation to help hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis;
- Legislation to raise the age requirement for firearm purchases to 21 years old;
- Legislation to create a mandatory firearm purchase waiting period.
- Legislation to address the threat of ghost guns — unserialized, untraceable homemade firearms, the building blocks of which can be obtained without a background check — was introduced on April 14th, advanced through the Senate, and needs to be approved by the House before heading to Governor Polis’ desk to be signed into law.
In an average year, 930 people die and 466 are wounded by guns in Colorado. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Colorado, and an average of 79 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 51% are suicides and 45% are homicides. Gun violence in Colorado costs $2,039 per resident each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost Colorado $11.7 billion each year, of which $156.1 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Colorado is available here.