By: José Niño
A bill that mandates individuals to store away their firearms was passed in the Colorado House earlier this month.
HB21-1106 was passed by a 40-25 vote after heated debate on March 8, when Democrats rebuffed all Republican attempts to change the measure. The bill was ostensibly marketed as a “safe storage” measure to keep unauthorized individuals from accessing firearms.
According to this bill, misdemeanors are accompanied with fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Additionally, the bill mandates licensed gun dealers to supply locking devices when firearms are transferred or sold.
Republican critics of HB21-1106 made the case that this bill could prevent lawful gun owners from accessing their weapons in a timely manner in dangerous situations.
Gun politics in Colorado has taken a negative turn during the past decade. Democrats have become emboldened since Colorado passed a magazine ban and universal background checks in 2013. In 2019, Colorado became the 15th state at the time to enact red flag gun confiscation orders. Momentum is definitely on the anti-gunners’ side in the Rocky Mountain state.
If HB21-1106 is passed, Colorado will continue spiraling down the anti-gun abyss. It’s already ranked in a putrid 40th place according to Guns & Ammo magazine’s Best States for Gun Owners rankings. Letting this bill become law will only solidify Colorado’s anti-Second Amendment status.
Anti-gunners shouldn’t pretend this bill will act as a cure for gun violence. Renowned Second Amendment researcher Dr. John Lott has argued previously that firearm storage laws “effectively disarm citizens in a time of urgency.” More concretely, Lott put out a study in the Journal of Law and Economics showing how states with mandatory firearms storage laws saw more than 300 additional murder and approximately 4,000 more rape incidents take place annually.
Clearly, any law that makes it more difficult for law-abiding individuals to use their firearms in encounters with criminals will invariably give the criminals the upper hand. It is in the criminals’ nature to skirt the law, while the law-abiding will even comply with legislation that puts them at a disadvantage in life-or-death situations.
Colorado’s gun policy has definitely seen better days. But nothing is ever set in stone in politics, especially when dealing with the Second Amendment, an issue millions of Americans of all backgrounds hold dearly. It would behoove Republicans to unapologetically get behind pro-gun causes. Ultimately, a full-throated defense of the Second Amendment could be the x-factor in breaking the Democrat trifecta in Denver.
Whether Colorado Republicans take advantage of this opportunity is another question.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.