DENVER (KDVR) — Gun control is back in the spotlight at the Colorado State Capitol. Lawmakers introduced a package of bills in hopes to reduce the violent incidents in the state.
Democrats from the House and Senate revealed three bills Thursday designed to stop the next tragedy. While they all lay out the details for prevention, some are wondering if they will be enough.
“Between the gun violence prevention bills we’ve already passed this session, and the three bold measures we are outlining today, this legislative session may end up being the most transformative legislature Colorado has ever seen as it relates to gun violence,” said Aurora Representative Tom Sullivan. Sullivan lost his son, Alex, in the Aurora theater shooting.
Lawmakers have big goals to meet as they race toward the end of session. Sullivan and 10 other lawmakers unveiled the bills in reaction to the King Soopers shooting.
“The first of these bills, of which I am one of the sponsors, repeals the state preemption which bars local governments from enacting any of their own gun laws. Just 10 days before the Boulder shooting, courts blocked Boulder’s citywide assault weapons ban,” said Boulder Senator Steve Fenberg.
Fenberg said removing this beforehand would not have necessarily prevented the shooting, but lawmakers believe local governments should be able to put gun measures in place.
A second measure would create an avenue for the state to keep up with shootings and intervene before the next one happens.
“It’s going to be the office of gun violence prevention because we need to have data to drive informed decisions and strategies moving forward. Especially as it relates to communities of color,” said Aurora Senator Rhonda Fields; she also lost a child to gun violence.
Finally, lawmakers are moving to make sure background checks are completed before people receive firearms, trying to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
“We are expanding background checks to violent misdemeanor crimes that would have prevented the massacre in Boulder and we are also closing the Charleston loophole,” said Senator Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood.
We asked gun violence advocates if these bills will be enough to end the bloodshed. They admitted they do not think they will be, but they are happy to see state lawmakers act as federal leaders stall.