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Gun Violence in Colorado: Update

El Paso and Dayton

One year ago this week, 23 people were shot and killed in El Paso by a white supremacist. The shootings were followed shortly thereafter by a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, which resulted in nine deaths.

Last year, the comedian and talk-show host Trevor Noah discussed a number of suggested “root causes” of mass shootings, but summed it up ‘”There is one thing that every mass shooting has in common, whatever motivated it has to be combined with a gun.”

Colorado Firearm Deaths

In Colorado between January 1st and July 31st, there have been 142 firearms homicides, up 29% from the same period in 2019 (data from Gun Violence Archive).

Pandemic-fueled fear drove thousands of Coloradans to purchase guns. From March through June of this year, CBI conducted over 188,000 background checks for firearm transfers, an increase of 71% over the same period last year.

So far this year, there have been three children whose lives were lost due to an “accidental shooting.”

• Westminster, April 21st. Three-year-old girl
• Commerce City, July 16th. Three-year-old boy
• Fountain, July 22nd. Twelve-year-old girl.

Colorado GOP Candidate Flauts the Law

Lauren Boebert, who surprisingly unseated Congressman Scott Tipton (CD3-western and southern Colorado) in the June primary, has a propensity to deal with state and local laws as optional.

Particularly egregious (to us), as reported by the Colorado Times Recorder, Boebert has been employing a 17-year-old server at her Rifle gun-themed Shooters Grill. No problem, except the teen was openly carrying a handgun. Possession of a handgun by a juvenile is a misdemeanor for the server, but permitting it is a class 4 felony (2-6 years) for Boebert. Don’t look for the Garfield sheriff to charge Boebert. A Denver Post article lists him as a supporter.

Besides spotty adherence to state gun laws, Boebert illegally reopened her restaurant during the pandemic. She was forced to re-close by the local health department.

2020 Census

The most important function for the census is determining populations for redistricting for congress and state legislatures, but it is also used for allocation of federal funds to states and localities. Because of the pandemic, census activities got off to a late and slow start.

Reports are that as much as 40% of the populace has not been counted, especially minority communities and in urban areas. Now, the Census Bureau indicates that they will be discontinuing their field activities at the end of September, rather than October (for which an extension had been granted).

Have you filled in your census report? If not: go to


John Lewis is primarily remembered for his work on civil rights, but in the gun violence prevention community, we also remember that Lewis led the sit-down strike in Congress in 2016 following the Pulse Nightclub massacre.

On the day of his funeral, the New York Times publishedhis last message to the country.


On July 19th, a 70-year old Missouri man shot himself in the leg while carrying a handgun in his backpack at Rocky Mountain National Park while hiking at one of the most popular areas in the park.

It used to be illegal to carry guns in national parks, but the gun lobby forced an amendment to a must-pass bill to allow such a practice in 2009. Colorado Senator Bennet voted yes on the amendment, and all Colorado House members concurred on it (including DeGette and Perlmutter).


Larimer Sheriff Justin Smith has decided to stop accepting training certificates from “Guns for Everyone” for concealed carry permits. Smith indicated the organization has failed to comply with the 2013 law that requires that classes be “in-person” classes, as opposed to on-line.


Colorado-based study found that when persons with Alzheimer’s or other dementia were living with the caregiver, almost one-third have access to a firearm.

Caregivers were most concerned about injury to others and generally didn’t recognize the risk of suicide nor were they asked about gun ownership by health care professionals.