DENVER (CBS4)– Democrats in the state Legislature are taking aim at guns, again. Eight years after they passed some of the strictest gun control in the country, they say it’s not enough.
“Coloradans want change,” says Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg.READ MORE: Female Bicyclist Killed By Car In Lakewood, Driver Arrested For Impaired Driving
And Democrats, he says, plan to bring it. They introduced three new measures, bringing the total number of gun control bills this session to six. The latest bills were born out of the Boulder King Soopers shooting.
“Today, we are turning our outrage into action,” Rep. Judy Amabile of Boulder said at a news conference where the bills were unveiled.
A first-year lawmaker, she didn’t expect to take on gun control. But when her neighborhood grocery store became a crime scene, she became a sponsor of a bill to bar people convicted of violent misdemeanors from buying a gun for five years. The King Soopers shooting suspect had been previously convicted of third-degree assault.
“I think we can all agree that someone who has been found guilty of sexual assault, hate crimes or child abuse shouldn’t be able to get their hands on a weapon,” said Amabile.
Her bill would also close a loophole that allows people to buy guns without a background check if the results take longer than three days. Another bill would allow local governments to enact tougher gun control measures than the state’s laws.
“It’s just going cause confusion among law-abiding citizens,” says Republican Sen. John Cooke.READ MORE: Alleged U.S. Capitol Rioter Patrick Montgomery Faces Arrest After Hunting Mountain Lion
He opposes the bills, calling them a knee-jerk reaction, “I think what we should try and do is enforce the laws we already have on the books and not come up with these feel-good… we have to do something, anything.”
Democrats say enforcement isn’t the problem, education is. That is why they also plan to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention to do public awareness and research.
Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex was killed in the Aurora theater shooting, has led many of the gun control measures.
“This legislative session may end up being the most transformative… as it relates to gun violence,” Sullivan.
The last time Democrats passed sweeping gun control, two of them were recalled.
Speaker Alec Garnett says he’s not worried, “No one fears recalls on doing things that the vast majority of Coloradans expect their elected officials to do. No one has called my office and said, ‘Do nothing.'”
Earlier this year, Democrats passed bills that require owners to safely store their guns and report them if they’re missing.MORE NEWS: Michael Curran Arrested For Stealing Jeep With 1-Year-Old Child Inside
Gov. Jared Polis has already signed them into law. The governor has not taken a position on the latest bills. He says he wants to see the final details. But he released a statement saying, “The commonsense strategies proposed by the legislature can be important tools for reducing gun violence. I applaud the legislature for proposing bold, courageous actions to keep Coloradans safer and reduce violent crime.”