CO Senate Democrats: Governor Polis Signs Several Legislative Priorities into Law
Colorado now has stronger gun safety and anti-discrimination laws thanks to Senate Democrats
DENVER, CO – This afternoon, Governor Polis and Senate Democrats hosted bill signing ceremonies for priority legislation, including policies to combat the public health crisis of gun violence, as well as LGBTQ discrimination.
SB21-078: Lost or Stolen Firearms, sponsored by Senators Jaquez Lewis & Danielson and Representatives Sullivan & Herod.
- Between 2015-2019, the FBI estimates that more than 30,000 guns – worth $13.5+ million – were stolen in Colorado. Lost and stolen guns are responsible for increasing numbers of crimes, both within and outside of Colorado, and the lack of a reporting regulation opens up a loophole for those who have been prohibited from owning a gun to obtain one. SB21-078 will rectify this situation by enacting a reporting requirement for gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement, who is then tasked with notifying the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the National Crime Information Database.
“When someone’s car is stolen, they report it to the authorities immediately – so why wouldn’t we do the same with firearms?” said Senator Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge). “This common-sense legislation will help reduce gun trafficking and the violent crimes in which they are used.”
“Responsible gun ownership starts with knowing where your guns are,” said Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Boulder County). “This bill will require that lost or stolen firearms are reported quickly and efficiently to law enforcement, so they can track down and prevent illegally obtained guns from being trafficked and causing subsequent harm.”
HB21-1106: Safe Storage of Firearms, sponsored by Senators Bridges & Hansen and Representatives Duran & Mullica.
- Every year, thousands of gun deaths nationwide and hundreds of gun deaths in Colorado occur because of improperly and unsafely stored firearms. Additionally, people who live in homes with guns stored in an unsafe manner are more likely to commit suicide. This bill will reduce gun deaths by requiring that firearms be securely stored when not in use, and requiring licensed gun dealers to provide a storage device with the purchase of firearms.
“This bill is about keeping children safe and saving lives,” said Senator Chris Hansen (D-Denver). “Comprehensive child access prevention laws, like this one, have been associated with reducing unintentional firearm fatalities by nearly 60%. This bill will ensure that weapons are stored properly in Colorado homes so that we can prevent needless tragedies from occurring in the future.”
“Responsibility is a core Colorado value. That’s all this bill says, be responsible,” said Senator Jeff Bridges (D-Arapahoe County). “Colorado has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the country, and nearly half of those deaths involve a firearm. It’s not every day you get to pass a bill you know for sure will save lives. This bill means fewer families losing kids to gun-related accidents and suicide, thanks to the use of eight dollar trigger or cable lock any family can afford. It’s a simple, effective, and evidence-based solution to keep our kids safe.”
SB21-026: Restoration of Honor Act, sponsored by Senator Moreno and Representative Ortiz.
- Anyone who serves this country should be able to return home and be provided with all the resources we can muster to improve and enhance their lives after service. However, due to a legal flaw, LGBT+ veterans may not have been discharged honorably from the US Military due their sexual orientation or gender identity, and thus have not had access to the same benefits as their peers. This is unacceptable. This bill establishes the status of “discharged LGBT veteran” for the purposes of Colorado law, which will ensure that no veteran is denied benefits unjustly.
“Serving our nation in the armed forces is one of the most selfless and honorable acts someone can undertake,” said Senator Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City). “I’m proud that this law will ensure LGBT+ Colorado veterans will not be discriminated against and can receive all of the state benefits they are entitled to.”
In addition to these three bills, HB21-1072: Equal Access Services For Out-of-home Placements, sponsored by Senators Fields & Jaquez Lewis, and HB21-1076: Carpooling Service Internet Application Register Colorado Department Of Transportation, sponsored by Senators Donovan & Hisey, were signed at the 2:30 PM signing ceremony.
To re-watch the bill signings, visit the Governor Polis’ Facebook page.