Gun Violence Prevention 

“The fight for gun safety isn’t about politics. It’s about the lives of our kids and their friends. I’m the parent of a six-year-old and a three-year-old, and I won’t let the NRA — or the politicians they’ve bought — stand in the way of our children’s safety.”

 Jared Polis, Democrat for Governor

Less talk, more action 

in tackling gun violence.

Coloradans, including responsible gun owners of all partisan backgrounds and beliefs, know that there is still more we need to do to reduce gun violence, protect the rights of responsible gun owners, and give our law enforcement the ability to save lives and prevent mass shootings before they start. Colorado is a model to the nation in closing loopholes in background checks and keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of violent people – especially those who have been convicted of domestic violence. These are important laws that I will protect from those who want to repeal them.

Here is my plan to further prevent gun violence in Colorado: 

Ban the manufacturing and purchase of ‘bump stocks’ that convert legal weapons into illegal weapons of war. 

Because the Centers for Disease Control is not allowed to use federal dollars to research the link between public health and safety and gun violence, I will direct the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to conduct this research using existing state funds.

Rededicate ourselves to improving mental health programs that can address the root psychological causes of violence before a tragedy such as a suicide or a mass shooting occurs and without stigmatizing anyone. As governor, I will fight to improve the number of school counselors and school-based health clinics able to not only conduct mental health assessments, but also to deliver treatment to students who need help. 

We will empower law enforcement and close family members and prevent people in crisis from having easy access to guns by passing a “Red Flag” law in Colorado. This will allow law enforcement and close family members to petition a court to temporarily suspend a dangerous person’s access to firearms if that person is determined to be a threat to themselves or others. Red Flag laws have important due process protections that require clear evidence for temporary suspension, as well as a hearing before a judge ,to give a person a chance to respond to the evidence against them that they are too dangerous to have a gun.

In 2015 and 2016 alone, smash-and-grab gun store robberies resulted in nearly 400 guns being stolen in Colorado. We should work to equip gun shops with strong security measures like closed-circuit cameras, discrete signage, and reinforced windows, which are already required of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. We can also look to the example of communities outside Colorado, such as Richmond, VA, that have strengthened penalties for illegal gun sales and for selling guns to felons and have seen armed robberies and gun homicides drop substantially as a result. 

Colorado’s law enforcement has suffered through tragic losses in their ranks due to the scourge of gun violence in our communities. Colorado must prioritize ensuring that all law enforcement officers in our state have bullet-proof vests. Additionally, I will convene community leaders and law enforcement to put forward best practices for police departments regarding the use of ballistic plates, helmets, and other enhanced protective gear in ways that do not result in situation escalation.

Sportsmen and sportswomen often lack sufficient access to places to hunt and fish. I support the proposal to dedicate 1 percent of Land and Water Conservation Funds for improved access to federal lands, and support a conservation guarantee to ensure access to current or greater total acreage of public lands for hunting, hiking, camping, and other forms of recreation.  

We can modernize or clear statute of outdated gun laws that have been on the books for decades — some even dating back to the early 20th century — to ensure that we are achieving a dual goal of protecting our communities from gun violence without encumbering Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights.

With marijuana legalized in Colorado, we should take steps to update our laws to restore gun ownership rights for individuals convicted of marijuana-related offenses. 

We will protect homeowners from dispersed shooting in the outdoors by constructing and maintaining designated shooting ranges that serve to increase gun safety. We will also increase the availability of secure lockboxes for guns stored on premises. I will work closely with gun safety advocates and organizations that sportsmen and sportswomen belong to, such as Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to accomplish this goal.

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