By: José Niño
Ever since a deranged gunman killed 10 people at a King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado in late March, the Colorado General Assembly has passed one gun control bill after another.
When the 73rd session of the Colorado legislative assembly ended on June 8, Democrat legislators were able to pass several notable bills on their anti-gun wish list. These new laws did the following:
1. Implemented a “safe” storage mandate.
2. Required the reporting of a lost or stolen firearm.
3. Established an office of gun violence prevention.
4. Granted cities the ability to pass tougher gun control laws than the state.
Democrats did not get all their desired pieces of legislation, however. They did not have enough votes for a statewide “assault” weapons ban. Indeed, this is somewhat surprising given how the Democrats have solid control of the governor’s mansion, the Senate (20 Democrats to 15 Republicans), and the House of Representatives (41 Democrats to 24 Republicans). This goes to show that there exists intra-faction within the Democrat Party that prevents them from passing even the most radical forms of gun control with ease.
Gun rights activists can take advantage of these intra-party tensions to roadblock gun control. Nevertheless, the political climate has been grim for the Second Amendment in the last decade. Ever since universal gun registration and a ban on so-called “high-capacity” magazines became law in 2013, gun control has become a hallmark of Colorado politics. Lawmakers substantially built upon their previous gun control achievements by passing a red flag gun confiscation order in 2019.
For the time being, Colorado state politics is in relatively safe Democrat control. Rising crime taking place nationwide, and the Democrats’ increasing turn towards anti-Second Amendment radicalism could present new opportunities for grassroots activists to recover ground they have lost, though. Most of the fights Coloradan gun owners will face soon will be defensive in nature. Nevertheless, such battles will give activists valuable experience and allow them to build the networks necessary to retake power in Denver.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at email@example.com. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.