New bill would require people facing domestic violence protection orders to report firearms

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A bill that passed the Colorado House, which would require people who are facing domestic violence protection orders to report their firearms.

HB21- 1255 has been introduced before, but sponsors say they’ve done a lot of stakeholding and worked with partners like defense attorneys and feel like it’s in good shape. Still, some lawmakers are drawing concerns and say constitutional rights could be put into question.

“We call it ‘Closing the Boyfriend Loophole’ bill,” said Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis, who is one of the bill’s prime sponsors.

As of now, the bill would require people facing domestic violence protection orders to report the type and location of firearms by completing an affidavit.

“The loophole is around the residence; what is the official residence of each person and this allows us no matter what the official residence is if there’s been a domestic violence charge, a firearm that’s there can be removed on a temporary basis,” said Sen. Jaquez Lewis.

The suspect behind the Colorado Springs shooting didn’t have a protection order against him, but Sen. Jaquez Lewis said this latest situation stresses the importance of the bill.

“The majority of Coloradans are responsible gun owners,” said Sen. Jaquez Lewis. “This is a specific situation, someone has been charged with domestic violence, and there’s firearms at the residence, and we are trying to everything we can in that specific to keep everyone safe.”

Representative Terri Carver said the bill could pose a threat to constitutional rights because of the paperwork that needs to be filled. Carver said members of the Colorado Public Defenders Office also voiced their concerns.

“If you failed to fill out the paperwork, you have separate criminal offenses and convictions just by failing to file the paperwork, but paperwork itself is requiring that you give information which could be… violate the fifth amendment against self-incrimination,” said Rep. Carver.

Amendments were proposed by Rep. Carver, which would put tougher penalties on people charged with domestic violence protection orders, but none were approved.

“I so agree with the goal of the bill, I just don’t’ think it’s an effective approach,” said Carver.

“We have worked through those concerns to try to continue the conversation; the bill is in a good place to protect majority,” said Jaquez Lewis.

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