DENVER (CBS4) – The day after a killing spree left 10 people dead at a grocery store in Boulder, politicians across the country started discussing legislative changes. For the first time in years, activists for gun reform, like Jane Dougherty of Littleton, say they can see some kind of change coming.

BOULDER, CO – MARCH 23: King Soopers in Boulder a day after Monday’s mass shooting on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

“So much of this is preventable,” said Dougherty, a Senior Fellow with Everytown for Gun Safety. “It’s so sad that we have to lose lives in order to motivate people and get our legislators back to talking about it.”

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Dougherty started fighting for stricter gun laws after her sister, Mary Sherlach, was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. She’s lived in Littleton since the early 1990s, so she’s been part of the Colorado community to face repeated mass shootings.

She followed Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Hearing on gun violence and watched President Biden call for stricter gun laws and background checks.

“I haven’t had any hope at the federal level for years. Hearing anyone even say assault weapons ban it’s amazing,” she said.

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Bills about gun storage and reporting a lost or stolen gun are moving through the Colorado legislature. On Tuesday morning legislators took to the floor of their chambers to shed tears, call for unity and suggest more restrictions on firearms.

“What we need in these times is to reach out to each other because what happens to Boulder happens to Colorado,” said Rep. Edie Hooton, a Boulder Democrat.

On Tuesday, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said in a statement it would continue to fight any new legislation further restricting guns in Colorado.

“Over the last ten years, the Colorado Legislature has enacted numerous gun-control measures, none of which have done anything to stop deranged murderers from claiming innocent lives,” the statement said.

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Dougherty says Coloradans are tired of continually grabbing international headlines for mass shootings.

“They want to keep our kids safe in school, they want to have these common-sense gun safety bills,” she said.

Jeff Todd