DENVER (CBS4)– Fed up with inaction on gun control in Washington, Congressman Joe Neguse, a Democrat, assembled a first-of-its kind meeting in Colorado as a call to action. Activists believe Colorado can be a model to further gun legislation.
“To me, this is a statement to the testament that people are speaking the truth to power,” said Neguse.
Neguse was at the meeting that included two fathers who lost their sons to gun violence, state lawmakers who’ve taken on the gun lobby, and the Chair of the U.S. House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Congressman Mike Thompson of California.
“I wanted to come down, I wanted to hear what was happening here in Colorado, a stat that’s really been on the tip of the spear,” said Thompson.
Neguse says Colorado is a model for Congress.
“So many of these issues and loopholes fundamentally, are federal ones. The absence of federal action just cannot be tolerated anymore,” said Neguse.
He points to a universal background check bill that passed the House 100 days ago and has yet to get a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Tom Mauser, whose son died in Columbine, helped pass universal background checks here.
“And considered very much a pro-gun state, a hunting state, 70% said yes to that,” said Mauser.
Neguse is also looking to Tom Sullivan, whose son died in the Aurora Theater Shooting, for help with a bill incentivizing states to pass red flag laws. A State Representative, Sullivan sponsored the red flag law here and now faces recall.
“I’m just not going to stop. They can’t stop me,” said Sullivan.
In fact, Democratic House Majority Leader Alec Garnett says look for more gun control in the state legislature in 2020, including bills to regulate 3-D guns, require safe storage of guns, and implement a waiting period for gun purchases.
“The solutions to help protect families and protect Coloradans are complex and there’s a lot of different areas that we have to continue to look at,” said Garnett.
Neguse says while Colorado has a history of gun tragedies, it also has a record of turning those tragedies into action and that is why it serves as an inspiration.
“If we could do it here, I think we could do it in Congress and I’m certainly going to continue to make the case,” said Neguse.