Dems praise bipartisan school safety measures, stop bills that would have allowed dangerous high capacity magazines that can shoot 50 or 100 rounds back on Colorado streets 

Democrats on the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee today defeated HB20-1040 and HB20-1099, two dangerous gun bills that would have allowed armed teachers in Colorado schools and once again permitted high capacity magazine sales in the state.

“These two bills would have endangered students’ lives and allowed weapons capable of quickly shooting a hundred rounds onto our streets,” said committee member Rep. Emily Sirota (D-Denver). “I worked hard on the School Safety Committee to craft bipartisan legislation to save students’ lives. We should focus on bills that will keep our students safe. Instead, we’re debating the same dangerous proposals year after year.”

“We’ve seen too much devastation caused by high capacity magazines to go back to when these extremely dangerous accessories could be sold in our state,” said committee member Rep. Cathy Kipp (D-Fort Collins). “I’ve heard from many constituents and Coloradans across our state who fear gun violence and are deeply concerned for their safety. I also heard it when I was a school board member for seven years. Putting guns into classrooms won’t make them safer.”

The National Association of School Resources Officers strongly opposes allowing guns in schools because in an active shooter situation, it could cause confusion and lead law enforcement to mistakenly identify someone not in uniform as an assailant. They also point out the wide discrepancy, often hundreds of hours in training requirements, between law enforcement and concealed carry permit holders.

There have been multiple incidents where students have accessed firearms that adults brought on campus. Research shows that access to a firearm triples the risk of suicide and doubles the risk of a homicide occurring, all while we know young people in this age group are at some of the highest risks for behavioral health conditions and suicide.

House Democrats have instead focused on bipartisan school safety reforms, developed from dozens of hours of expert testimony, that aim to save lives in school. These bills would enhance the Safe2Tell program, expand access to mental health in schools, and improve existing school safety initiatives.

The second bill Democrats defeated would have allowed the sale of high capacity magazines, like the one used in the Aurora shooting, back on Colorado streets. Research from Everytown on mass shooting incidents where data was collected on magazine size found that 58 percent of these incidents involved firearms with high-capacity magazines. There were twice as many fatalities and 14 times as many injuries on shootings where high-capacity magazines are involved. In Dayton Ohio, an assailant shot 26 people in 32 seconds.