House Advances Proposal to Protect Domestic Violence Victims, Curb Gun Violence, and Save Lives

House passes bill to protect domestic violence survivors by helping to keep firearms out of the hands of their abusers

DENVER, CO– The House today advanced Rep. Monica Duran and Matt Gray’s bill to strengthen the enforcement of an existing requirement that certain domestic violence abusers relinquish their firearms. The bill passed on second reading.

“As a survivor of domestic violence myself, I know all too well the horror and the trauma that victims face, and I know that inserting a firearm into the situation only makes the threat of violence all the more deadly,’ said Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “The tragic shooting in Colorado Springs this weekend shows the tragic and violent link between mass shootings and domestic gun violence–it’s past time we end both.” 

“Current law already requires that individuals with domestic violence protection orders relinquish their weapons to law enforcement, but as a former prosecutor I know all too well how often the system fails victims of domestic violence,” said Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield. “This bill will save lives by simply strengthening and streamlining the process to enforce existing law. It’s long past time that we treat domestic gun violence with the same solemn urgency we give to other forms of gun violence.” 

A recent analysis of 749 mass shootings committed over the past six years found that about 60 percent of them were either domestic violence attacks or committed by men with histories of domestic violence. In Colorado, 60 incidents of domestic violence led to 70 deaths in 2019, a 62 percent increase from the prior year, according to the Colorado Domestic Violence Fatality Review board’s annual report.

HB21-1255 would strengthen and streamline procedures for the relinquishment of firearms by someone who has a domestic violence-related protection order issued against them.  Current law already requires domestic violence offenders who are subject to a protection order stemming from an act of domestic or intimate partner violence to forfeit their firearms and refrain from possessing or purchasing firearms for the duration of the order. This bill simply clarifies the way in which defendants must comply with this requirement, and establishes requirements for courts.