Polis Signs Two Major Gun Safety Bills Into Law

Gov. Polis signs House Bill 21-1106, safe storage of firearms.

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports:

Gov. Jared Polis on Monday signed two bills tightening gun regulations in Colorado into law — the first new firearm restrictions enacted in the state since the red flag bill became law in 2019.

The legislation was introduced before the deadly attack on a Boulder King Soopers in March, though the shootings brought greater urgency to the measures, which are mainly focused on reducing gun-related suicides.

Colorado House Democrats led by Rep. Tom Sullivan celebrate in a release this afternoon:

“There’s no single gun safety policy that can put an end to the epidemic of gun violence in America, but by taking commonsense steps like the two laws signed today, we can start to make a dent and save some lives,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “Reporting a missing firearm is a simple measure that will stop firearms from ending up in the wrong hands and give law enforcement more tools to find these weapons before they end up in crime scenes.”

“Coloradans are tired of seeing gun violence rip families apart and take precious lives away from us far too soon,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “Our bill to require that missing firearms be reported to police is a simple and commonsense request that will hopefully prevent senseless tragedies like the one that took Isabella Joy Thallas’ life. I’m immensely proud that we were able to honor her memory by naming this law after her today.”

“Asking all gun owners in Colorado to safely store their firearms the way the majority of responsible gun owners already do is a small measure that can save countless lives,”said Representative Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn. “A simple and affordable lock on a firearm could prevent the type of tragedies and injuries that befall Colorado families every day.”

We wrote earlier this month about the passage of Senate Bill 21-078, the “Isabella Joy Thallas Act” named after a victim of gun violence in Denver killed with an assault weapon stolen from a Denver police officer. Back in March we covered the ten-hour marathon debate in the Colorado House over House Bill 21-1106, which requires gun owners in households with either children or prohibited persons use either a gun lock or store them in a gun safe.

In both cases, these bills passed the Colorado General Assembly without a single Republican vote. That’s the norm of course for gun laws in modern American politics, but it’s worth noting in this case since these are some of the easiest to justify proposals to reduce the harm from gun violence out there today–in theory much less controversial than the 2019 “red flag” law, not to mention the 2013 gun safety bills that resulted in political backlash for Democrats.

With the public overwhelmingly in favor of gun control going well beyond safe storage and reporting of lost and stolen guns, this was a missed opportunity for Republicans to show reason that might have afforded them cover in more contentious battles down the road. For Gov. Polis and majority Colorado Democrats, it’s yet another win on an issue for which wins, at least at the federal level, are in dishearteningly short supply.

If you want more wins like this, it starts with giving our leaders in Colorado the credit they deserve.

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72 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Congrats on the $25 fine. I feel deterred!

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      You’ll feel plenty deterred when a victim’s family sues your fluffy little tail off . . .

      . . . and your defense for not following the law comes down to, “it was only a $25 fine”?

      Sniveling dumbass!

      Congrats on the Ttump & Gardner landslides!

      • MichaelBowman says:

        …Reppy le PewPew will have to pad her mileage account monthly by 45 miles for each violation! 

      • dang says:

        Pardon me, Mr. Criminal, while I try to remember the combo to my safe as you attack my family…

        • unnamed says:

          Or the criminal could just get your unsecured gun before you do and use it.

          • dang says:

            You are assuming that the criminal doesn't already have a firearm.  

            Are you seriously asserting that a person should not be permitted to have personal protection in an instant?

            "After all, you don't bring a knife to a gun fight." -Barak Obama

            • unnamed says:

              And the criminal can still get their hands on the unsecured gun, because the more guns the better.  

              • dang says:

                So what will the criminal do to you while your gun is in your safe where you can't reach it?  

                • unnamed says:

                  Less than they can do when they get their hands on the unsecured gun that is laying around the house.

                • kwtree says:

                  Do you lock your car, dang? If so, why? You might need to get into it quickly, and that dang key is so inconvenient. Do you let your 8 year old drive the car? Why not? Do you let random strangers drive your car? Have you ever had a breathalyzer attached to it so you have to “blow sober” in order to drive? Why do you think that “infringement” was put in place? 
                  As far as the Constitution goes, SCOTUS’  2018 Heller decision says in Syllabus 2

                  2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of fire- arms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.  Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.

                • ajb says:

                  Rather than play into the very rare scenario of home invasion, I'd rather think about the larger issue of junior or some other relative or aquaintance borrowing a gun for the sole purpose of commiting suicide, which IIRC accounts for about half of all gun fatalities. 

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Pardon me, Mr. Criminal, while I try to remember if I left my gun in my daughter’s playpen or my son’s crib, as you attack my family?

          • dang says:

            What a ridiculous response.  

            Yeah, it's right there, in the playpen, next to the molotov coctail, frozen water bottles, and laser pointers you plan to use in the peaceful protest tonight because Chouvin wasn't immediately publicly executed after the trial.

            So dumb.

            • unnamed says:

              Wanna cherry-pick scenarios?  Don't get butthurt when the tables are turned.

            • kwtree says:

              Since you’re losing the argument, you’ll have to do better at distraction, changing the topic, hyperbole, trying to make your opponent defend an absurd “straw man”,  and personal attacks. We’ve all had lots of practice with Polsters who are much better with these tactics than you are. 

    • Genghis says:

      It's good to see that you've finally come around to supporting more meaningful restrictions such as absolute civil and criminal liability. Common ground at last!

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Maybe instead of a constant dollar penalty, it should be adjusted based on the reported income of the household, as some states are doing for speeding fines. 

      Or, in a nod to the variability of possible harms, have varying fines based on the destructive potential of the weapon.  $25 for a single shot .22 derringer, with increases for weapons with heavier ammunition, higher muzzle velocity, and more rounds to be fired before reloading. 

      • kwtree says:

        I like the idea of heavier penalties for more destructive weapons. Something that can shoot hundreds of people a minute shouldn’t see daylight outside of a gun safe, or at a shooting range.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Moderatus actually has a valid point, a rather rare occurrence. These are feel good bills, but aren’t really enforceable. Charing someone with unsafe storage, as an example, would likely occur only after some sort of other crime.

        JiD also has a good point in his second paragraph. Maybe a $500 fine for a missing AR-15; or unsafe storage of an AR-15; would have had more teeth.

      • dang says:

        Uhh, Polis already passed legislation on magazine capacity, so that part is out.  

        Define heavier ammunition.  You refer to .22, but the dreaded ArmaLite Rifle-15 (AR-15) fires a .223 or 5.56 ‘ll which is nearly the identical diameter round as your .22.  All of the “heavier ammunition” is typically used for big game hunting, and is impractical for a mass shooting.

        Muzzle velocity?  Many .22 rifles and even air rifles exceed 2000 fps, while many “heavy” rounds, like .45, are sub-sonic.  

        Your suggestion also would be a paperwork nightmare and impossible to enforce.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          You got the “uhh” right here, . . .

          . . . but Hickenlooper was the magazine-capacity governor.

          (And he later apologized for that . . .)

        • ajb says:

          Interesting. First you say that standard long guns are impractical for mass shootings. We could stop right there. 

          Then you downplay the lethality of ARs and their .223 bullets. Go ahead and google "ER doc and AR wounds" and see what comes up. There are lots of trauma docs saying they see horrific wounds from ARs that they don't see from other guns (because that's what they're supposed to do, right?). 

          • MichaelBowman says:

            What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns

            In a typical handgun injury, which I diagnose almost daily, a bullet leaves a laceration through an organ such as the liver. To a radiologist, it appears as a linear, thin, gray bullet track through the organ. There may be bleeding and some bullet fragments.

            I was looking at a CT scan of one of the mass-shooting victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who had been brought to the trauma center during my call shift. The organ looked like an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer, and was bleeding extensively. How could a gunshot wound have caused this much damage?

            The reaction in the emergency room was the same. One of the trauma surgeons opened a young victim in the operating room, and found only shreds of the organ that had been hit by a bullet from an AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle that delivers a devastatingly lethal, high-velocity bullet to the victim. Nothing was left to repair—and utterly, devastatingly, nothing could be done to fix the problem. The injury was fatal.

    • unnamed says:

      If the fine was 10x that or more, would you feel deterred?  Or would you start bleating about how your entitlement is being threaatened?

  2. kwtree says:

    Good on you, Colorado Legislators and Governor Polis. Some small, but meaningful steps, that the right wing gunheads will undoubtedly lose their minds over.

    After all, the more the angst and grievance pile up, the more donations flow in to those bank accounts.

  3. dang says:

    Congrats on passing another gun-control bill that does not deter, prevent, or stop any violent crimes.  It also does not punish the shooter.  

    It does, however, punish innocent people for literally doing nothing.

    Gold star for pressing your proverbial boot down harder on the necks of your constituents.  

     

     

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      For some reason, I get as a first impression, that you’re usually a yuge supporter of boots on necks? . . .

      (. . . I mean, so long as those boots are on the right color feet, and the necks are a different color.)

      • dang says:

        Haha I get it.  You used a Trump reference, a Chauvin reference, and called me a racist all at the same time.  Brilliant.  I applaud how you do that just like everybody else who doesn’t like what I have to say. 

        The “boot on the neck” reference is actually a commonly used analogy on how authoritarians and tyrants rule.  

        For some reason, I get as a first impression, that you speak into an echo chamber, have no conservative friends, exercise your mind and body minimally, read nothing printed on paper, and would have absolutely no idea what to do in a crisis without the government.  

         

  4. dang says:

    So which 2013 Polis gun control law prevented the Boulder shooting?

  5. dang says:

    Thank you all for the kind words and advice.  Please rest assured that you have completely convinced me to join your cause.  I will now secure all of my firearms in a safe, because I never would have thought about that previously.

    I will also now report any stolen firearms, because I would have never done that before without the governor telling me to.

    I am so glad that I will now be avoiding a fine.  I was so dumb to think that I could possibly keep my firearms secured without the threat of losing money. 

    I really hope that you can convince all of the criminals to secure theirs as well.  At least they know to tell the police (who we all trust and depend on to keep us safe) when somebody takes their gun.

    While you are at it, can you please tell the criminals that they aren't allowed to use guns in the "gun-free" zones?  They need to know that nobody else will have one, so it wouldn't be fair for them to bring theirs.

    Thank you all for the information.

    Thanks in advance for the comments after I leave to go spread the good word.

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