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.