Democratic state lawmakers have passed three gun measures
that will allow localities to regulate firearms, expand background check requirements for firearm transfers, and create an “Office of Gun Violence Prevention” — sending all three bills to the desk of Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.
The measures are part of Democrats’ push for stricter gun laws to respond to a surge in gun violence in the US and in the wake of more than 200 mass shootings so far this year
alone. Colorado Democrats introduced the trio of bills in late April while continuing to call for federal action.
On Monday, the Colorado state House gave final passage to a bill that would require licensed gun dealers to get approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation that a background check is complete before transferring a firearm.
The bill, House Bill 1298
, requires the bureau to deny approval of a firearm transfer to a person convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses, including third-degree assault, sexual assault, child abuse or a hate crime, within the last five years.
The measure also extends the 30-day deadline to 60 days for the bureau to review and make a final decision in an appeal from an individual denied a firearms transfer following a background check.
The House had first approved the bill in May with the support one Republican, House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, who said
he voted in favor of the measure by mistake. The Senate had passed the House bill on a party-line vote in late May after amending it.
The Democratic-led Colorado legislature on Thursday passed Senate Bill 256
, which would repeal a state law prohibiting a local government from imposing bans on the sale, purchase or possession of a firearm. The bill would allow a local government to enact ordinances or regulations banning a firearm so long as it’s “not less restrictive” than state laws.
The House tweaked the bill last week and passed the amended version Thursday, sending it back to the Senate for final passage that day.
The legislature also gave final approval to a bill, House Bill 1299
, that would create the “Office of Gun Violence Prevention” within Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment. The office will “coordinate and promote effective efforts to reduce gun violence and related traumas and promote research regarding causes of, and evidence-based responses to, gun violence.”
The bill passed the Senate last Tuesday by a party-line vote.
One House Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Donald Valdez, broke with his party to vote against SB 256 and HB 1299, but supported the bill that would expand firearm transfer background check requirements.
A separate bill
passed by the legislature last Tuesday seeks to strengthen the procedures for someone subjected to a civil protection order for a domestic violence act to relinquish their firearms.
In April, Polis signed two bills into law
tightening gun regulations — one that requires gun owners to report their lost or stolen firearms within five days and another that mandates owners to “responsibly and securely” store their firearms when not in use, to prevent juveniles and other unauthorized users from accessing them.
No Republican lawmakers voted for either of those two bills.
CNN has reached out to Polis’ office about the latest round of bills sent to his desk.
Meanwhile on Monday, the US Justice Department proposed to clarify the restrictions on stabilizing braces
that transform a pistol into a short-barreled rifle.
The makeshift short-barreled rifle was used in the Boulder mass shooting, a Justice Department official told CNN on Monday.