CO Gun Bills Expose Glaring Assault On Victims Rights After Floor Debate Amendments Fail

CO Gun Bills Expose Glaring Assault On Victims Rights After Floor Debate Amendments Fail

 

This past week, two Colorado gun control bills have been rapidly making their way through the state legislature. While HB21-1106: Mandatory Safe Storage of Firearms originated in the house, SB21-078: Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns was introduced in the senate, both on Feb 16, 2021. This was undoubtedly a strategic move to keep gun rights activists chasing the zig zag between the two chambers. It culminated Tuesday morning when Lost and Stolen Guns was being heard in the senate, while Safe Storage was on third reading in the house. Both passed their respective hearings. Safe Storage will move on to the State Senate where the process will begin again and it must pass before landing on the governor’s desk, and Lost and Stolen guns will be heard for it’s final vote in the senate Wednesday morning before moving on to the State House of Representatives.

Confused yet?  Yeah…that was intentional on their part. Long story short, both bills continue to move forward – and fast.

Debate on Mandatory Safe Storage on the house floor went for nearly 10 hours with 27 amendments being offered by Republicans, all but one amendment was voted down. You can watch the debate here and part 2 here. Debate on Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns went relatively fast, lasting about an hour, with three amendments being offered, all rejected. You can watch that one here.

One thing became glaringly obvious while watching debate on these bills coupled with the rejection of amendment after amendment: gun owners lives do not matter to the gun grabbing Democrats down at the state capitol. The vote was along party lines with one Democrat joining Republicans in their efforts.

The Assault On Victim’s Rights

During both the debate on Safe Storage as well as Lost and Stolen Guns, amendments were put forth to protect victims of crime.

The following amendments were struck down by Democrats:

Amendment L-054 would have made it impossible for a person to be charged with the qualifying Class 2 Misdemeanor if the discovery of an unlocked firearm happened during a lawful entrance into a person’s home, such as during the commission of a crime against the person. For example: a woman is the victim of domestic violence in her own home, and police arrive at the scene. Upon entering the home they find a handgun on the kitchen table which had been used in her assault. There is a one year old toddler in the home. This domestic violence victim is now a criminal for not keeping the firearm locked up even if not at her own hands. This amendment was rejected along party lines.

Another amendment would have exempted persons from Safe Storage requirements who have active restraining orders against another person because they are in imminent danger.  Struck down by Democrats. If you are in such imminent danger even the courts agree, too bad, keep that gun locked up and inaccessible, call the police, that’s their solution.

And yet another amendment would have exempted gun owners in the event a juvenile trespasses onto their property and steals a firearm. Doesn’t matter. If you live alone with your cat and never have another person in your home, YOU will be held responsible for the crime another person commits in breaking into your home and stealing your property, and be slapped with a Class 2 Misdemeanor for not locking up your guns.

During the Lost and Stolen Guns debate three amendments were presented.  These amendments stated that if the firearm was stolen during an incident in which the person or a member of the persons immediate family was a victim of homicide (amendment 1), or a victim of kidnapping (amendment 2), or a victim of sexual assault (amendment 3) they would be exempt from the 5 day day reporting requirement. This is because rational people understand that when such trauma happens, reporting a gun lost or stolen is unlikely at the top of their priority list and during times of grief and/or processing the trauma, this can easily be overlooked or even create more trauma for the victim. All three of these amendments failed.

Yet another amendment offered and rejected would have given a gun owner or their family an avenue to sue the state if one is injured or killed while being unable to protect themselves due to the requirement to keep their guns “safely stored” where they are much more inaccessible should the need for self defense arise.  Funny the same party who preaches putting an end to qualified immunity would reject such a measure.

Last but not least, three amendments were presented that would have provided 7 days (amendment 1), then 3 days (amendment 2), and finally 24 hours (amendment 3) to come into compliance if found to be in violation of this new law that has no funding for the educational campaign. Those not paying attention are expected to “just know”.

They Also Reject Gun Owners Being Involved In Educational Campaign Development

An amendment was voted down that would have required the development of the Safe Storage educational campaign to include consultation with the Division of Criminal Justice and Public Safety, non-profit organizations that provide firearms safety education and training, members of the firearm industry, including manufacturers, dealers and importers, along with other experts in firearm safety. Because to them, it makes no sense to have stakeholders at the table who will actually be affected by this law and understand how to connect with gun owners.

Another amendment would have added a requirement that all 7th graders complete a firearms safety course, something that would help immensely with accidental shootings.

Exempting law enforcement officers, veterans, active duty military, and similar from Safe Storage was another amendment killed.

This was followed by an amendment that would have given some teeth to the Second Amendment Sanctuary counties who tend to be immune to many of the firearm crime issues that plague more urban areas such as school shootings and gun theft.

One Amendment Did Pass

The one amendment that DID pass will require information about organizations such as Hold My Guns and other community programs that allow firearm owners to voluntarily and temporarily store firearms at a secure location outside of the home in times of crisis be part of the unfunded educational campaign.

You can follow these bills and others, find legislator contact info, and even sign up to provide public comment at our Legislative Watch page.

HAVE YOU VISITED OUR STORE LATELY?

The Problem With “Mandatory Reporting Of Lost & Stolen Guns” Laws

The Problem With "Mandatory Reporting Of Lost & Stolen Guns" Laws : Rally for our Rights Colorado


CALL TO ACTION: This bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, March 4th, 1:30pm at the Colorado State Capitol.

Register to provide public comment (testimony) in-person or remote. Full instructions to do so can be found here. It’s easy and it’s empowering!  

CLICK HERE to email the entire Senate Judiciary Committee at once and ask they oppose this bill.

As gun control organizations rally activists and politicians alike to push their agenda, it’s always clear which bills are part of a larger gun control agenda because they pop up in every state. Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Firearms is one of them, which has been introduced here in Colorado this legislative session.

SB21-078 sounds so benign it gets little opposition and even gun owners regularly say they don’t see an issue with it. I’ve never met a gun owner who took issue with reporting stolen guns to the police, and honestly, they really don’t “lose” them at all (boating accidents aside, of course).

But in reality, there are some glaring problems with such a law.

This particular bill makes it a petty offense with a fine of $25 if you don’t report a stolen or lost firearm to police within 5 days and any subsequent non-reporting offenses are a class 2 misdemeanor. The person reporting the theft or loss must provide the following info: the manufacturer, model, serial number, caliber, and any other identification number of distinguishing marks. From there, within 5 days, law enforcement must add the firearm information into CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigations) and NCIC (National Crime Information Center – FBI) as directed. Even this wreaks eerily of a back door registry.

Here’s the thing, legal gun owners already report firearm theft voluntarily, even providing all the identifying information if they have it. And law enforcement typically gets the firearm information to the CBI who then adds it to NCIC within 24-48 hours, not even the 5 days the bill requires, but less. The issue doesn’t lie in the reporting, the issue lies in the recovery of the firearms. Law enforcement rarely tries to actively recover firearms, instead they wait to find them in the commission of another crime. Why not tackle this instead?  It would likely be supported by gun owners who want their firearms back (and definitely do not want them used to cause harm) and gun control advocates who claim to want to reduce “gun violence” alike, and would do far more to stop crimes committed with firearms and truly make our streets safer.

You know who won’t report their guns lost or stolen? People who are already prohibited from owning them, the same people who don’t report them now. This law won’t change that. It will honestly change little, if anything at all, when it comes to reporting.

What I actually find most concerning about this bill is the coupling of it with Mandatory Safe Storage of Firearms, which was introduced the same day and is already making it’s way quickly through the state house. When you report a gun stolen, will the next question be why you didn’t have it locked up? The penalty for not reporting the firearm stolen is a petty offense of $25. Not properly storing a firearm securely is a class 2 misdemeanor. In reporting a gun stolen, will gun owners be incriminating themselves of another crime? And would this actually deter gun owners from reporting their guns stolen? In this scenario with both bills becoming law, does the Lost and Stolen Firearms bill actually violate the Fifth Amendment, the right to remain silent? The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects a person from being compelled to incriminate oneself and is a bedrock of our justice system.

Lastly, let’s do a little study of our own by looking at two states in 2020, New York and California, which have very strict “common-sense” gun laws to include Mandatory Loss and Theft Reporting. In New York City, shootings are up 97%, homicide up 44%. In California, in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, Oakland, historic levels of gang shootings and gun homicides. So why aren’t these “common-sense” gun laws working?

All that aside, this bill threatens to criminalize victims and the state has no authority over the private property we own.

Follow our Legislative Watch page for more information about this and other firearm related bills, including when and how to provide public comment, who to contact, and when and where to watch the debate and votes.

 

Gun Rights Face Masks Neck Gaiters Coverings For Sale Republican Conservative Don't Tread On Me Betsy Ross Big Laua

 

 

Colorado Mandatory Firearm Storage Bill Advances

Colorado Legislature Introduces Mandatory Safe Gun Storage Bill

Safe Storage of Firearms (HB21-1106) sponsored by Representatives Monica Duran and Kevin Mullica along with State Senators Jeff Bridges and Chris Hansen, passed the House Chamber on March 9, 2021. It will move to the State Senate next.

During the house committee hearing, a few things became clear about this bill:

• Applies to homes with kids or prohibited persons. It was a little unclear if it would extend to if you had children or prohibited persons in your home but they don’t live there.
• The bill sponsors were unsure about if it included vehicles, so they had to get the bill drafter to ask him. He wasn’t even totally sure but didn’t think it did.

Here’s how they intend to enforce it:

• Via discovery of unlocked firearms through other police contact, such as if the police are in your home for other reasons…welfare check, ERPO’s, another crime committed.
• See Something, Say Something™ reporters, such as family or friends in the home who are aware there are unlocked firearms. They will be encouraged to turn you in.
• After an incident has already taken place.
• And we truly believe from the Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns via the accompanying bill, but that will be a conversation to be had for that bill hearing (which is Thursday, March 4 at 1:30pm and you can sign up to testify or reach out to the committee now).

Our take on this bill…

Privilege: This bill will disproportionately affect the poorest in society, essentially limiting the ability and right to self defense to those who can afford it or face being a criminal. A better option would be a bill that makes gun safes tax free. Or maybe “Daddy Bloomberg” could use his money buying gun safes for those those who can’t afford them. Or safes for all of us to keep in our cars to put our gun in when we go into his beloved gun free zones.

Constitutionality:

There are obviously some serious questions about what this law will look like and how bill sponsors plan to get around constitutionality.

Attorney Joseph Greenlee of Steamboat Springs has already written about this issue.  In a January 8, 2020 article for Complete Colorado he states:

“Safe storage” laws are unconstitutional because they prohibit immediate self-defense in the home. In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring that firearms be kept inoperable in the home, because it “makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.” A “safe storage” law is another “prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense,” and is unconstitutional for the same reason.

Moreover, the Supreme Court has placed strict limitations on the government’s ability to regulate private conduct within the home. For example, the sanctity of the home prevents government from criminalizing the in-home possession of obscene materials (Stanley v. Georgia), homosexual conduct within the home (Lawrence v. Texas), and the use of contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut).

Indeed, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that the Constitution provides “protection against all governmental invasions of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life.” How Americans decide to store their arms inside their homes is therefore layers of constitutional protection beyond the reach of government.

Suicide:

A glaring hypocritical statement often made by the gun grabbers is in relation to suicide. According to the CDC, there were 725 firearm suicides nationwide in 2018 for children aged 17 and under, while for that same age group there were 923 suicides by hanging/suffocation.  Colorado’s teen suicide rate has increased by 58% in 3 years and not because of firearms.  In 2018 for ages 0-19 there were 95 total suicides in Colorado, 48 of those were by hanging and 47 were by all other means which include intentional overdose, firearm, and others.  Simply restricting access to firearms does nothing to address the suicide rate and will only push these teens toward other methods.  Until we get to the root cause of suicide, it will not stop.

That said, Colorado’s suicide rates matter and we should all care.  There are private organizations who already work with gun owners in crisis or who worry someone in their home may be in crisis.  Hold My Guns is a private group who is working to partner with FFL’s and police departments to offer a place people can store firearms during a crisis.  There are also multiple suicide prevention hotlines. And recently CU Anschutz unveiled an interactive map that shows out-of-home gun storage facilities for this exact reason.  WTTA.org also offers non-crisis support to gun owners.

And then there are the crisis lines:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255, or chat online
Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online

Accidental Deaths:

Accidents are the result of negligence. Since 1993, gun-accident fatalities have fallen 74 percent. You’ll be hard pressed to find a metric the CDC is tracking that shows such a remarkable trend in the positive direction. For example, you’re fifteen times more likely to be killed as a pedestrian than you will because of a gun accident (2017: 7450 pedestrian vs 486 gun accident). And to make this fact even more remarkable, this reduction in gun accidents happened solely from within the gun community without any intervention from the CDC, the medical establishment, or law enforcement.

Gun owners—and by this I mean law-abiding gun owners since a non-law-abiding gun owner is by definition a criminal—have on their own recognized the need for enhanced gun safety, that alcohol and guns don’t mix, and the need for safe storage to prevent handling by children and to prevent theft. Years ago, safe storage was hiding your guns in the bedroom closet; today gun owners brag about their gun safes.

Don’t take my word for it as the John Hopkins School for Gun Policy and Research says that: “…gun owners who purchase a firearm legally, generally are even more law-abiding than your average person.”

There are also statutes within Colorado Child Abuse law that mandates consequences for parents whose children accidentally cause harm to themselves or others via firearms.

Enforcement:

It’s unclear how they intend to enforce this law, and right here in Colorado we’ve already seen that storage doesn’t stop criminals.  The perpetrators in the 2018 STEM School shooting busted into a gun safe using a crow bar and an ax.  They then took the guns to the school where they were stopped by an armed security guard after killing one student.

An accompanying piece of legislation has also been introduced: Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns. We can already see how they intend to use these laws together.  If you leave your gun in your car while you go into a gun free area such as your child’s school, and it’s stolen, as soon as you report it you will be asked why it wasn’t being “safely stored”, and criminal charges will ensue.  This will only mean less people will report their guns stolen out of fear they will punished.  Punitive laws don’t work. This bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 7th.

 

HAVE YOU VISITED OUR STORE LATELY?

Rally for our Rights store shirts products gun rights

 

Littleton, CO Aims To Eliminate Gun Stores With Impossible New “Safe Storage” Requirements

Littleton, CO Aims To Eliminate Gun Stores With Impossible New "Safe Storage" Requirements

While our country grapples with continued chaos from the election, COVID-19, a disrupted economy, and ongoing political violence, the mayor and city council of Littleton, CO has decided what is most important to them is pushing gun stores out of their city. During their February 2, 2021 city council meeting, a “Firearms Retailer Regulations” ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote.

Here’s the TL,DR version:

Beginning August 1, 2021 this ordinance (3-24-1 through 3-24-11 of Littleton city code) creates a new city license that is specific to firearm retailers only. To obtain this new annual license, business owners will be required to lock all firearms in safes during non-business hours, and create new security and storage plans for during business hours. The retailer must develop a safe storage plan that includes how they plan to achieve this, along with a number of other requirements not related to storage, such as alarm systems, disaster planning, training of employees, current floor plans, and inventory (much of what they already do as responsible businesses). This plan must be submitted to and approved by the Littleton Police Department annually. LPD can reject plans and revoke licenses at their discretion when they believe they find inadequacies in the plan. Retailers with revoked or expired licenses must dispose of their inventory according to ATF standards. Firearms disposition records must be available to law enforcement at all times without a subpoena, and law enforcement and other government officials must have access to all areas of the retail location at all times without a warrant. This ordinance makes operating a firearm retail business without this license an “unlawful act” punishable by fines and jail.

So what does this really do?

It creates such expensive and burdensome requirements on the retailers they will be forced to either increase the price of their inventory to such a degree only the wealthy can afford it and making self defense out of reach for lower income people, such as, I don’t know…many single mothers whose most important responsibility is the protection of her children alone. Or the retailers will be forced to move out of the city opening the door to the black markets that always fill these voids.

An important question would be does it even work? The idea that locking guns in safes prevents planned, professional theft is ridiculous. The city elected officials have now created a blueprint for thieves as to how to steal guns in Littleton, they just know they need to take the whole safe now and break into them, as the 16 year old STEM school shooter did before committing his heinous act.

And why target the gun industry solely if this is about saving lives? Let’s look at a pharmacy. They have objects in their possession that can fatally injure or hurt large amounts of people, such a fentanyl which is stealing the lives of teenagers right here in Colorado as I write this. They are highly regulated. And they are often the victim of crime, probably on similar statistics in comparison to gun store robberies, if not more.  However, because it isn’t controversial, a left vs right issue, it gets a free pass.

Colorado increasingly continues to see gun control passed at the local city level, as we highlighted back in 2018 when Boulder passed a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and in 2019 Longmont passed a “common sense gun safety” resolution that looked like Bloomberg himself wrote it. Please keep your eye on your city council agendas and if you see anything fishy, alert us immediately.

Please reach out to the Littleton mayor and city council contact with your thoughts. Scroll down for their contact info.

Here are the dirty details about the Littleton ordinance: 

Creates a new annual city license all firearm retailers will now be required to apply for (and I’m sure pay for, although a dollar amount is not included in the bill language).

In order to get this license the retailer will need to:

• Develop a plan that addresses the safe storage of firearms during retail hours, after closing, and any off-site storage areas where firearm inventory is maintained.  This must include all of the following:

– Securely storing firearms during retail hours, after closing, and in any off-site storage areas in accordance with their new storage requirements set forth in the new Littleton City Code. During non-business hours all firearms must be stored in a locked safe, locked steel gun cabinet, or secured safe room;
– Alarm systems and theft deterrence systems;
– Business practices addressing access to firearms during retail hours;
– Procedures for removing/replacing firearms to show to customers;
– Loss or theft reporting;
– Description of anti-theft measures and practices;
– Disaster plan;
– Structural Security; e.g. physical hardening of the premises which includes but not but not limited to bollards, break resistance windowing, secured bars across windows, locking metal reinforced doors, and reinforced walls;
– Inventory Security;
– Employee Screening; and,
– Employee training and education about licensee’s policy and procedures and loss prevention measures, if applicable.

• Safe Storage Plans must be submitted to the Littleton Police Department for approval on an annual basis. LPD can reject any submitted plans, documenting inadequacies, and if those inadequacies are not addressed and a new plan submitted for approval within 60 days, or if the same plan is submitted, the license will be revoked.

• Retail location must ensure the following practices are implemented within their plans:

– Store all firearms in inventory in a safe, vault, or safe room and in such a manner as to prevent theft or loss.
– Keep all safes, vaults, displays, other equipment, or areas used for the storage of firearms in inventory securely locked or protected from entry, except for the actual time required to remove, replace or show for sale or transfer the firearm(s) in inventory. Trigger locks or similar devices cannot be removed until sale or transfer is completed.
– Keep all locks and security equipment in good working order;
– Prohibit keys from being left in locks and do not store or place keys in a location accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel;
– Prohibit other security measures, such as combination numbers, keys, codes, passwords or electronic or biometric security systems, from being accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel;
– Keep the retail location securely locked and protected from unauthorized entry at all times when closed for business or unoccupied by authorized personnel;
– Ensure inventory records are protected by securing the records after business hours in a location separate from the firearms inventory and only permit authorized personnel or law enforcement to view or handle the inventory records;
– Complete a firearms inventory on a regular basis, no less than once annually. Inventories must be conducted by at least two persons, unless owner operated.
– Keep timely and accurate “acquisition and disposition” records. These records must be made available to law enforcement entities upon request;
– Maintain a disaster plan that adequately ensures the timely securing of firearms in inventory in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The plan must be made available to law enforcement upon request; and,
– Ensure employees with access to firearms in inventory or who otherwise handle firearms in inventory are not prohibited from possessing firearms under State or Federal law.

• If a retail location presents special security issues, such as exposed handling or unusual vulnerability to diversion, theft or loss, LPD may require additional safeguards.

• If a loss, theft or diversion of firearms in inventory has occurred from a retail location, the certified licensee must notify the ATF and law enforcement within 24 hours after the loss or theft is discovered. If any firearms previously reported as lost or stolen are subsequently recovered by the licensee, the licensee must notify the ATF and law enforcement of the recovery.

• Any licensee whose certification is revoked or not renewed must dispose of its entire inventory under conditions approved by the ATF and provide notice to LPD of plan to transfer or otherwise dispose of inventory.

• Retail locations operating in a space that is 5,000 square feet or greater, or maintaining more than 100 firearms in inventory, must provide current copies of floor plans to LPD upon request.

• Retailers must not prohibit members of LPD or other federal, state or local government officials from entering any area of a location if necessary to perform their governmental duties.

Littleton Police Department has put together a long and complicated document to “help” firearm retailers get their plan in place.  You can read that here.

If you’d like to express your thoughts and concerns about this heavy handed move by the Littleton mayor and city council while they know people are distracted by many other things, please contact them:

Mayor Jerry Valdes: 303-810-1465  [email protected]
Councilmember Patrick Driscoll: 303-668-7877  [email protected]
Councilmember Karina Elrod: 303-362-3364  [email protected]
Councilmember Carol Fey: 303-795-9350  [email protected]
Councilmember Pam Grove: 303-263-1152  [email protected]
Councilmember Scott Melin: 720-295-5382  [email protected]
Councilmember Kelly Milliman: 720-468-1324  [email protected]

Don’t have time to contact them individually? Here’s a quick copy/paste you can throw into your email client and message them all at once: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

 

HAVE YOU VISITED OUR STORE LATELY?


Colorado Gun Owners: Brace For Gun Control Fight In 2021

Colorado Gun Owners: Brace For Gun Control Fight In 2021

After a 2020 that felt more like the Twilight Zone than reality, there’s one good thing that happened: 2020 gun control legislation was DOA both in-state and federally.  But that’s all about to change.

Last year Colorado Democrats had only introduced two gun control bills when the legislature took an emergency recess due to COVID-19. When they returned months later to finish up what they considered “necessary business”, many legislative ambitions were no longer considered “necessary”.  This included a bill mandating locking up firearms and another bill making the reporting of lost and stolen guns mandatory. Although Democrats held the majority in both the State House and Senate, the margin in the senate was slim and they knew the passage wasn’t a slam dunk. After the November 3rd election, Democrats in the state picked up one additional state senate seat and the majority in the state house remained unchanged.

At the federal level in 2020, Republicans held a slight majority in the Senate while Democrats held a large majority in the House of Representatives.  Multiple pieces of gun control legislation passed out of the house only to never see the light of day in the senate, ultimately never making it to then President Donald Trump’s desk.  The November 3rd elections, and most notably the recent January 5th senate run-off in Georgia, changed the entire make up of congress, and the recent inauguration of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president sealed the deal. The senate now sits with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, making the tie breaker the new VP, Kamala Harris. In the house Republicans did pick up a number of seats but not enough to make up the large margin. Currently the party make-up in that chamber is 211 Republicans to 221 Democrats with three vacancies yet to be filled.

So what should we expect?

Colorado:

Colorado’s legislative session was set to begin on January 13, 2021 and run for exactly 120 days.  Due to COVID-19, Democrat leadership altered this timeline. On January 13th, legislators were sworn in and routine business was done; for two more days a few bills were passed that related directly to COVID-19 and then they recessed until February 16, 2021. At that time they intend to run for the remainder of the 120 days or possibly less. We are already aware of three pieces of gun control legislation to be introduced as soon as they reconvene:

• Mandatory waiting period between firearm purchase and possession – possibly 5 days. (Rep. Tom Sullivan and Rep. Steven Woodward)
• Mandatory “safe storage” of firearms. (Rep. Kevin Mullica)
• Mandatory reporting to law enforcement of lost and stolen guns. (Rep. Tom Sullivan and Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis)

It’s not unlikely we’ll see more gun control out of Colorado gun grabbers this session – the question remains what and when.

I’ve written about the last two proposals and you can read that here. I’ll be breaking down the mandatory waiting period in the coming days so keep your eye out for that.

A list of contact information of all of Colorado’s legislators can be found here.

Federal:

The 117th U.S. Congress gaveled into session earlier this month, and at least six gun control measures have been filed already with the House Judiciary Committee. Unlike the past couple years, these bills could land on the new president’s desk for signature if strategic pushback from gun owners doesn’t stop them.

Summaries of these bills are not yet available to the public at the time of this writing.

H.R.30 – To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms trafficking. (Rep. Bobby Rush, D-IL)

H.R.121 – To provide for the hiring of 200 additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and investigators to enforce gun laws. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.125 – To amend Title 18, United States Code, to provide for a 7-day waiting period before a semiautomatic firearm, a silencer, armor piercing ammunition, or a large capacity ammunition magazine may be transferred. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.127 – To provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.130 – To require the safe storage of firearms and ammunition, and to require the investigation of reports of improper storage of firearms or ammunition. (Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX-18)

H.R.167 – To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer. (Rep. Al Green D-TX-9)

Stay tuned for more information as the full text of these bills becomes available and as more bills are filed.

A list of Colorado’s federally elected representatives and senators can be found here.

And in the mean time, buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. 

 

Gun Rights Face Masks Neck Gaiters Coverings For Sale Republican Conservative Don't Tread On Me Betsy Ross Big Laua

Colorado Legislature Introduces Mandatory Safe Gun Storage Bill

Colorado Legislature Introduces Mandatory Safe Gun Storage Bill

In a Facebook post, Colorado State Representative Monica Duran announced that she has introduce a “Safe Gun Storage” bill along with State Representative Kevin Mullica.  HB20-1355 Secure Storage of Firearms can be found here.

In Duran’s post, she states:

I am proud to be running Safe Gun Storage alongside Representative Mullica, being introduced today. Gun suicide claims the lives of 23,000 Americans annually, including 1,100 children and teens, making it a public health crisis in the U.S.

In over 80% of youth suicides involving a firearm, the gun belonged to a family member. Approximately 90% of suicide attempts involving a firearm end in death, compared to 4% for attempts not involving a firearm.

Every day, eight children are unintentionally shot or killed by a gun. A study found that households that locked both firearms and ammunition had an 85% lower risk of unintentional gun deaths compared to those who lock neither.

I look forward to improving public safety in our communities with this bill, and thank you to all of the advocates with Moms Demand Action who were able to join us today!


Constitutionality:

There are obviously some serious questions about what this law will look like and how bill sponsors plan to get around constitutionality.

Attorney Joseph Greenlee of Steamboat Springs has already written about this issue.  In a January 8, 2020 article for Complete Colorado he states:

“Safe storage” laws are unconstitutional because they prohibit immediate self-defense in the home. In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring that firearms be kept inoperable in the home, because it “makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.” A “safe storage” law is another “prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense,” and is unconstitutional for the same reason.

Moreover, the Supreme Court has placed strict limitations on the government’s ability to regulate private conduct within the home. For example, the sanctity of the home prevents government from criminalizing the in-home possession of obscene materials (Stanley v. Georgia), homosexual conduct within the home (Lawrence v. Texas), and the use of contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut).

Indeed, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that the Constitution provides “protection against all governmental invasions of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life.” How Americans decide to store their arms inside their homes is therefore layers of constitutional protection beyond the reach of government.

Suicide:

A glaring hypocritical statement Duran makes is in relation to suicide. According to the CDC, there were 725 firearm suicides nationwide in 2018 for children aged 17 and under, while for that same age group there were 923 suicides by hanging/suffocation.  Colorado’s teen suicide rate has increased by 58% in 3 years and not because of firearms.  In 2018 for ages 0-19 there were 95 total suicides in Colorado, 48 of those were by hanging and 47 were by all other means which include intentional overdose, firearm, and others.  Simply restricting access to firearms does nothing to address the suicide rate and will only push these teens toward other methods.  Until we get to the root cause of suicide, it will not stop.

That said, Colorado’s suicide rates matter and we should all care.  There are private organizations who already work with gun owners in crisis or who worry someone in their home may be in crisis.  Hold My Guns is a private group who is working to partner with FFL’s and police departments to offer a place people can store firearms during a crisis.  There are also multiple suicide prevention hotlines. And recently CU Anschutz unveiled an interactive map that shows out-of-home gun storage facilities for this exact reason.  WTTA.org also offers non-crisis support to gun owners.

And then there are the crisis lines:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255, or chat online
Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online

Accidental Deaths:

Accidents are the result of negligence. Since 1993, gun-accident fatalities have fallen 74 percent. You’ll be hard pressed to find a metric the CDC is tracking that shows such a remarkable trend in the positive direction. For example, you’re fifteen times more likely to be killed as a pedestrian than you will because of a gun accident (2017: 7450 pedestrian vs 486 gun accident). And to make this fact even more remarkable, this reduction in gun accidents happened solely from within the gun community without any intervention from the CDC, the medical establishment, or law enforcement.

Gun owners—and by this I mean law-abiding gun owners since a non-law-abiding gun owner is by definition a criminal—have on their own recognized the need for enhanced gun safety, that alcohol and guns don’t mix, and the need for safe storage to prevent handling by children and to prevent theft. Years ago, safe storage was hiding your guns in the bedroom closet; today gun owners brag about their gun safes.

Don’t take my word for it as the John Hopkins School for Gun Policy and Research says that: “…gun owners who purchase a firearm legally, generally are even more law-abiding than your average person.”

There are also statutes within Colorado Child Abuse law that mandates consequences for parents whose children accidentally cause harm to themselves or others via firearms.

Enforcement:

Lastly, we will need to spend some time reading into the bill language to determine how they intend to enforce this law, as well as who will be required to own a gun safe.  Will it be every gun owner regardless of whether or not they have children?  That’s like saying every car sold must also include a car seat, regardless if the person purchasing the vehicle and car seat will ever need it.

In addition, we’ve already seen here in Colorado that storage doesn’t stop criminals.  The perpetrators in the 2018 STEM School shooting busted into a gun safe using a crow bar and an ax.  They then took the guns to the school where they were stopped by an armed security guard after killing one student.

An accompanying piece of legislation is also expected to be introduced: Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns.  We can already see how they intend to use these laws together.  If you leave your gun in your car while you go into a gun free area such as your child’s school, and it’s stolen, as soon as you report it you will be asked why it wasn’t being “safely stored”, and criminal charges will ensue.  This will only mean less people will report their guns stolen out of fear they will punished.  Punitive laws don’t work.

Stay tuned for more information as we get it, including when these bills will be scheduled for public testimony.  The easiest way to stay up to date is to subscribe to our email list and connect on social media.  Click here to get connected.

 

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms must always be defended!
Get a sticker for a donation to Rally for our Rights of $5 or more.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS

No politician who supports gun control should get armed protection paid for by those they are trying to disarm sticker : Rally For Our Rights

(other designs available)