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Colorado lawmakers consider domestic violence gun legislation

Domestic violence

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- After two new gun measures were signed into law on Monday, Colorado lawmakers are considering at least one more this month.

Colorado House Bill 21-1255, which passed in the House Judiciary Committee last week, aims to strengthen an existing 2013 law to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

"We have a lot of concern right now that domestic violence incidents and deaths are rising. It did rise in 2019 and there’s a lot of anecdotal data about 2020, things might get worse," Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said, who chairs the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board.

According to a report conducted by the state's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, at least 70 people died in 2019 from domestic violence incidents, up from 43 in 2018. Of those deaths, gunshot wounds accounted for nearly two-thirds of them. The report also cited El Paso County as having the third highest rate of fatal domestic violence related incidents Colorado, with 8.3%.

"The current system we have for relinquishment of firearms is ineffective. There's not enough oversight to ensure the firearm is actually relinquished," Weiser said.

The bill would strengthen the existing system, by clarifying how and when Coloradans who have a protection order issued against them must surrender their guns. Weiser said the legislation would also close a loophole that excludes unmarried couples.

"Of course as we know, domestic violence isn't only between people who are actually married. A couple could be living together, not married, but domestic violence could absolutely be taking a toll and could be threatening someone's life."

Colorado Springs Rep. Terri Carver, who has sponsored several domestic violence measures of her own, said to KRDO in a statement, "I support the goal of HB21-1255, to increase compliance with current law that domestic abusers subject to a civil protection order must relinquish their firearms while the protection order is in effect."

"Unfortunately, the HB21-1255 legal process has serious constitutional flaws involving due process and the 5th Amendment.  I will work with the bill sponsors to address these issues when the bill comes to the House floor--we need a strong legal process to protect domestic violence victims and to enforce civil protection orders," Carver said.

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Jen Moynihan

Jen Moynihan is a weekend anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Jen here.

Comments

6 Comments

    1. You’re missing the point of this proposal. As the article clearly states, it would clarify and strengthen the existing law passed in 2013. This is addressing individuals who have had a DV protection order issued against them, which is a first step legal action against them. Occasionally that is the only action needed to stop the abuse and change the person’s behavior. All too frequently, however, it’s only a stopgap measure, with the abuser biding their time and preparing payback for their victim(s).

      1. Where the 2013 bill as well as any additional subsequent bills will fail is the action of taking a persons gun away after a person was only charged with a crime does not meet Due Process as it was mentioned. it is against the Constitution to take any action against a person when they have only been charged but are awaiting a Trial against their peers.
        Additionally, the 2nd Amendment clearly states as follows, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

        1. The all caps was to put emphasis on the last part of that sense not to come across as yelling at anyone. Also this was not specifically directed at you, but to anyone that didn’t understand why the 2013 bill was passed but was unenforceable. It was just as silly as the magazine law they passed that same year because of the Exceptions:
          “The following people may not be convicted under CRS 18-12-302 for possessing large-capacity gun magazines.

          People who owned the LCM on July 1, 2013, and maintained continuous possession of it (but they have the burden to prove this to the court should they get charged);
          Anyone who possesses the magazine for the sole purpose of transporting the magazine to an out-of-state entity on behalf of a manufacturer of large-capacity magazines within Colorado;
          Any government or armed forces employee who bears a firearm in the course of official duties (including law enforcement officers and county sheriffs);
          Any LCM manufacturer or licensed gun dealer / gun store that transfers or sells LCMs to either:
          A branch of the U.S. armed forces;
          A department, agency, or political subdivision of Colorado, or of any other state, or of the United States government;
          A firearms retailer for the purpose of firearms sales outside Colorado;
          A foreign national government that has been approved by the U.S. government for transfer of LCMs; or
          An out-of-state transferee who may legally possess LCMs.
          Under CRS 18-12-303, it is a class 2 misdemeanor to manufacturer high-capacity magazines without a legible permanent stamp or marking indicating that the LCM was made after July 1, 2013. The marking must be conspicuously engraved or cast upon the LCM’s outer surface. Penalties under state law include 3 to 12 months in jail and/or $250 to $1,000 in fines.”

  1. Well this and the fact that our sheriff and the one in the county next door wont enforce the laws of the land. and Mikey if you are a good boy you have nothing to worry about. But if you aren’t and go around beating on women then you get what you deserve!!

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