Denver, Colo., April 28, 2023—For Immediate Release—Today at the Colorado State Capitol, Governor Jared Polis signed a suite of four gun safety bills meant to address numerous aspects of gun safety and gun industry accountability. Afterwards, bill sponsors were joined by gun violence prevention advocates with a gathering on the Colorado Capitol west steps recognizing the progress in making Colorado safer.
“We can save lives from preventable violence. Let’s join together for the America we love without fear of not returning home from an Independence Day Parade on Main Street,” said Eileen McCarron, co-founder and president of the 23-year-old Colorado Ceaseﬁre, the longest-running gun violence prevention organization in the state.
“This milestone of gun violence prevention legislation marks several years of tireless eﬀorts by Colorado Ceaseﬁre with fellow members of the Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence (CCAGV), Giﬀords/Giﬀords Gun Owners for Safety, Brady United Against Gun Violence, Colorado Faith Communities United Against Gun Violence (CFCU), Everytown for Gun Safety (with Moms Demand Action/Students Demand Action), Blue Rising, PTA and the League of Women Voters and so many others in our shared mission,” McCarron noted.
(Editor’s Notes: 1/A fact sheet summarizing these bills is located at the end of this news release; 2/Bios of the speakers aﬃliated with each piece of legislation follows the fact sheet; 3/We have included three photos with this news release, all photo credit Patricia B Smith/Colorado Ceaseﬁre. Video is available upon request; please contact Pat Smith .)
Each bill addresses a critical element in the complex issue of gun violence and accessibility to weapons by teens and other prohibited persons, and the ability to prevent violence by suicide or an impetuous act of violence:
- SB168: Jessi’s Law: Gun Industry Liability brings this industry into alignment with medicine, pharmaceuticals,construction, and other There is no reason an industry that manufactures and markets a lethalproduct should have exclusions from liability not enjoyed by other businesses.
- SB170: Expanding the Extreme Risk Protection Orders Law (ERPO/Red Flag Law) petitions. In addition tofamily members and law enforcement, those on the front lines of public health, safety and education may recognize the warning signs before gun violence occurs and will now be able to petition for an Each side of the political divide cites mental health as a key factor in gun violence prevention. ERPOs are one of thebest options for protecting people in behavioral crises and their communities from preventable harm.
- HB1219: Waiting Period for Gun Purchase. Preventing suicide, vengeful domestic violence, or a planned mass shooting are key elements in adding a three-day waiting period before the actual transfer of a purchased ﬁrearm. Together with SB169, this can save many more lives from an irreversible bad decision.
“There is certainly no one solution to this problem of gun violence,” said Tom Mauser, father of Columbine victim Daniel Mauser and a long-time Ceaseﬁre board member. “We must continuously look for loopholes and weaknesses in our existing laws and ﬁx them. That’s what these bills do,” he said.
“Our cherished individual freedoms should not translate into increased instances of the killing or maiming of innocent people. What was once an American dream of opportunity has been transformed by ongoing and preventable shootings into a nightmare of fear at the grocery store and at school. Freedom and responsibility are tandem priorities to protect our individual right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The bills signed today are another four steps on the campaign to achieve that cherished American ideal and a Safer Colorado.” said McCarron.
Colorado Ceaseﬁre has been working for freedom from gun violence since 2000. Ceaseﬁre initiated and was instrumental in the enactment of the 2013 Colorado ﬁrearms laws and began advocating for an Extreme Risk law in 2016, which became eﬀective January 1, 2020. Ceaseﬁre worked closely with members of Colorado’s General Assembly to enact six gun reform measures in 2021.