Progressive gun bills defy common sense

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Blog, Capitol Review

Although I am less optimistic, I still hold out hope that Colorado isn’t irretrievably doomed to follow California, Oregon and Washington into the hopeless abyss of Progressivism.

A few key indicators will soon reveal if we have passed the point of no return, including whether enough common-sense Democrats remain to stand with Republicans against the Far Left’s relentless assault on our Second Amendment rights.

Senate Bill 131 would prohibit licensed concealed-carry permit holders from carrying their guns in “sensitive spaces,” which sponsors Sen. Sonya Jaquez-Lewis (D-Boulder) and Chris Kolker (D-Centennial) defined as most places outside your home.

The bill would ban legal possession in these gun-free zones by licensed permit-holders.  It would, of course, do nothing to deter criminals whom Progressives prefer to coddle (for example, by killing a bill to increase the penalty for stealing a firearm).

Facts presented by David Kopel of Independence Institute reveal, based on a Washington Post analysis, 86% of mass shootings nationally occurred within these supposed gun-free zones.  Even after amendments, the bill would multiply opportunities available for mass shooters to target unarmed and vulnerable men, women and children.

Meanwhile, House Bill 1348 would implement an absolutely ridiculous “safe storage” mandate for guns in vehicles.  Reps. Elizabeth Velasco (D-Glenwood Springs) and Lorena Garcia (D-Adams County), along with Sen. Jaquez-Lewis, would require gun owners who leave a firearm in a vehicle to store it in a “locked hard-sided container.”

OK, so you could put it in your locking glove box, console or trunk, right?  No, because the locked hard-sided container must be “out of plain view.”

This isn’t firearm safety; it’s “because we say so” harassment by Progressives who foolishly believe lawful gun owners are more dangerous than drug dealers.

Sponsors clearly know little about responsible concealed-carry or gun safety because the interplay of these two bills, as writer Ari Armstrong points out, amounts to requiring permit holders to “frequently take the gun off of their person, where it is at almost no risk of theft, and place it in a vehicle where it is at higher risk of theft.”

Next, consider the recklessly named “assault weapon” ban by uber leftist Reps. Elizabeth Epps and Tim Hernandez, both D-Denver.

“Assault weapon” is a politically-biased term which falsely implies that machine guns are readily available at your local gun store.  In reality, “assault weapons” as defined by HB 1292 are ordinary guns with cosmetic features that may look – but do not function – like military guns.

The bill purportedly addresses “certain firearms used in mass shootings.”  Again, Kopel exposes the lie:  Less than 10% of mass shootings involve a so-called “assault weapon.”  The bill declares, “assault weapons are not suitable for self-defense,” yet it allows police officers to use these same guns.  Why do police officers choose their firearms?  “For only one reason: lawful defense of self and others.”

Other “assault weapon” characteristics (pistol grip, grip for the non-trigger hand, adjustable stock, barrel “shroud” or handguard) improve stability and accuracy.

“When law-abiding Colorado citizens are defending themselves against violent criminal attackers,” Kopel reasons, “the bill sponsors want victims to be forced to use firearms that are difficult to use.”

Other bills in the Progressive assault on the Second Amendment would:

  • Force all gun owners to purchase liability insurance (HB 1270) or else petition a court to decree they cannot afford it. Think criminals will comply?
  • Impose an 11% sales tax (HB 1349) on gun sales. Guns sold illegally remain untaxed.
  • Require eight hours of in-person instruction to obtain or renew a concealed-carry permit (HB 1174). Lawbreakers avoid the training requirement.
  • Impose separate state licensing for legal firearms sellers (HB 1353), who are already subject to rigorous federal licensing.

Consider that our state’s concealed-carry permit holders are 39 times less likely to be arrested than the general public, based on reports county sheriffs submit annually to the legislature.

To anyone persuaded by facts or logic, these bills do not make Colorado safer.  Instead, they amount to arbitrary harassment of law-abiding gun owners to satisfy Progressive fantasies.

Colorado voters handed Democrats super-majorities in the Legislature.  We will soon learn whether enough common-sense Democrats remain to protect the rights of honest citizens.


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