DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) — Three bills pertaining to guns in Colorado have passed the state legislature and are now sitting on Gov. Jared Polis’s desk awaiting his signature to become law.
The three gun measures passed by state Democrats will allow localities to regulate firearms, expand background check requirements for firearm transfers, and create an "Office of Gun Violence Prevention.”
Local firearm store owners are now responding to the possibility of those bills being signed.
Senate Bill 256 would allow a local government to enact ordinances stricter than state gun laws, but not less strict. Democratic Rep. Lindsey Daugherty is one of the sponsors.
“In this bill, we want to make sure that communities are able to have their own standards based on what’s happening in their communities,” said Rep. Daugherty.
Paradis believes it’s a good idea for municipalities to create their own gun measures. However, he wishes the legislation would go both ways.
“What they keep doing is they ensure that more and more people are helpless and can’t defend themselves,” said Paradis. “And when you do that, that is not going to make the bad guys harmless.”
Gov. Jared Polis is also expected to sign off on House Bill 1298. It 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 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.
In Colorado, knowingly inflicting bodily injury to someone is enough to qualify as third-degree assault. But no actual injury is required under the law. Pain itself is enough to warrant a third-degree assault charge and conviction.
The measure also extends the 30-day deadline to 60 days for the bureau to review and give a final decision in an appeal from someone who is denied the transfer of a firearm after a background check.
“This bill lengthens the amount of time that the government can be inept in keeping records,” said Paradis. “And that’s a problem for someone who feels they could be in physical danger.”
The final piece of legislation going to the governor is House Bill 1299. It creates an "Office of Gun Violence Prevention" within Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment. The goal is to "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."