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Colorado’s governor appeals for stronger law to prevent mass shootings in 2023 State of the State speech Tuesday

DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) -- On Tuesday, a week after Jared Polis was sworn in for his second four-year term as governor of Colorado, he delivered the 2023 State of the State address -- his fifth such speech while in office.

The speech began at 11 a.m. from the House chamber of the Colorado State Capitol; you can watch it below:

Polis closed his speech by honoring the victims of the November shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, and thanking the two heroes -- Richard Fierro and Thomas James -- who saved lives by subduing the suspect until police arrived.

The Colorado Channel

Fierro, his family -- including his daughter, who was among the 25 people injured -- and James attended the event and received an extended standing ovation from lawmakers in attendance.

Five people died in the tragedy.

The Colorado Channel

"There are hundreds of Coloradans today who don't have to mourn their boyfriend, their girlfriend, their son, their daughter, because of your act of heroism at the right place at the right time," Polis said about the heroes.

The governor also called for lawmakers to strengthen the state's extreme risk protection order law, designed to keep weapons out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

The Colorado Channel

The law didn't apply to the Club Q suspect in a 2021 criminal case because his family refused to testify against him, and only relatives and law enforcement can ask a court for a protection order.

Polis wants to expand that authority to local district attorneys.

KRDO

"This legislation has been used hundreds of times successfully but we can do more to spread awareness and make sure it us used when the situation calls for it," he said. "I look forward to exploring common-sense solutions with (lawmakers)."

KRDO contacted the Colorado District Attorneys' Council for a response on the governor's statements.

CDAC

"We are not in a place to comment until a bill is introduced and our board has time to review and discuss (it)," said council spokeswoman Elizabeth Schrack.

El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen and Pueblo County District Attorney Jeff Chostner didn't respond to requests for comments from KRDO.

The governor said that toughening the law is part of his goal of making Colorado among the ten safest states by the time he leaves office in four years.

The Colorado Channel

Polis also addressed key issues and further laid out his priorities over the coming year to the state legislature -- such as crime, universal preschool, housing, water and the economy.

At his inauguration, Gov. Polis spoke about some of the issues he will be focusing on in his next term. Including practical solutions to the rising cost of living, creating safe communities with good schools, and affordable access to health care.

Gov. Polis also discussed making Colorado operate on 100% renewable energy by 2040 while lowering consumer rates.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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Natasha Lynn

Natasha is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado during the week and on weekends.

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