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April 29, 2024

House Passes Gun Violence Prevention Bills to Improve Investigations of Illegal Firearm Activity and Prohibit Firearms in Sensitive Spaces

Legislation would prohibit firearms in key locations consistent with SCOTUS rulings, improve the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s ability to address illegal firearm activity

DENVER, CO - The House today passed gun violence prevention legislation sponsored by Majority Leader Monica Duran and Representative Meg Froelich that would improve investigations of illegal firearm activity. SB24-003 passed by a vote of 35-26. 

The House also passed legislation sponsored by Representatives Kyle Brown and Mandy Lindsay that would protect communities from gun violence and create safer public spaces by prohibiting the carrying of firearms in certain locations. SB24-131 passed by a vote of 43-21.

“From safe storage laws to waiting periods, Colorado Democrats have passed significant gun violence prevention legislation that can have a real impact on the safety of our communities,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood. “Current gaps in authority and resources make it difficult for law enforcement officials to enforce our laws to the fullest extent. With this legislation, CBI will have the authority and the resources to work with local law enforcement agencies on life-saving investigations of illegal firearms.”

“We all share a common goal of keeping illegal guns out of our communities, which is why I’m sponsoring this bill to ensure the safety of our loved ones and neighbors,” said Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “We should be proud of the significant progress that we’ve made to tackle gun violence. This legislation uplifts our past work and reflects our commitment to keeping our communities safe by ensuring law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to investigate illegal firearm activity.”

SB24-003 would give the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the ability to investigate illegal activity involving firearms. It would appropriate $1.7 million to the Department of Public Safety to create a team that investigates individuals convicted of felonies who are attempting to illegally purchase a firearm, and other illegal firearm crimes such as possession of a ghost gun.

SB24-131 would restrict the presence of firearms in certain locations where children and families may be present. The bill would prohibit carrying a firearm - openly or concealed - in the following locations and their parking areas: government buildings where legislative meetings and offices are located; courthouses; child care facilities, K-12 schools,  colleges; and polling locations. The bill includes exemptions for peace officers, members of the US Armed Forces performing official duties, working student resource officers, and more.

“Coloradans deserve to vote, peacefully assemble, and receive a quality education, but firearms have historically threatened their right to do so without risking their lives,” said Rep. Kyle Brown, D-Louisville. “ Firearms can and have been used to intimidate and cause harm, making people afraid to vote in person and attend school. This legislation would restrict guns in certain sensitive spaces, like polling centers and government buildings like the Colorado Capitol, to better protect all Coloradans from gun violence.”

“As legislators, we are responsible for passing policy that protects Coloradans’ lives, which is why we’re passing this important gun violence prevention legislation,” said Rep. Mandy Lindsay, D-Aurora. “Our bill would prohibit firearms in sensitive spaces, defined by the U.S. Supreme Court, like polling centers, preschools, and government buildings so we can make our communities safer and prevent threats and intimidation in our schools and government and electoral processes.”

Many states protect sensitive places from gun violence. Arizona, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana prohibit open and concealed carry at voting locations. The locations protected under this bill have been deemed sensitive spaces in recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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