Gov. Jared Polis on Monday signed two gun control measures into law at a noon ceremony at the governor's mansion in Denver.
The new laws are tied to House Bill 1106, which requires safe storage of guns in households with minors; and Senate Bill 78, which requires firearms owners to report when their weapons are lost or stolen within five days.
The latter is known as the Isabella Joy Thallas Act, in honor of the Denver woman who was murdered on June 10, 2020 by a neighbor as she was walking her dog in LoDo. The rifle used in the murder was stolen by the alleged shooter from a lifelong friend, a Denver Police officer, and without the officer's knowledge or consent.
Thallas' family was at Monday's signing ceremony, along with bill sponsors Sens. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Longmont, and Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and Reps. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, and Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial.
More than 600 guns were reported lost or stolen to the national crime information center, Polis said. While this legislation can't bring back those who have died, the law will prevent future loss of life, he said, adding that this brings more accountability to the process of reporting lost or stolen guns. "This bill makes sure if you're a gun owner and your gun is lost or stolen, you report it."
"It's been a bittersweet honor to work on this bill," said Jaquez Lewis. "This is a common sense gun bill that ensures firearm owners know where their guns are at any time, she added.
Thallas' mother, Ana Hernandez-Thallas, spoke through tears. She said the bill made sense to her, but unfortunately "common sense is not so common, so I fight, not just for Isabella, but for the other people in Colorado, because it's not just about her. It's about Jake (her son), when he goes to school, and his school might be next, or the grocery stores or malls. The gun violence is out of control. Someone has to do something."
She turned to Sullivan, whose son was murdered in the Aurora Theater shooting in 2012. "You know this feeling all too well, and you shouldn't," she said.
Sullivan said in a statement after the signing that "there is no single gun safety policy that can put an end to the epidemic of gun violence in America." However, the two laws signed Monday can start to make a dent in gun violence and save lives, he said.
In signing House Bill 1106, Polis said it is a sensible measure to avoid theft and misuse, preventing children and adults from doing harm to others or to themselves. New and used guns must come with a trigger or cable locking device at the time of sale. "It's a sensible measure to avoid immeasurable heartbreak."
Bill sponsor Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge noted the bill has been two years in the making and working across the aisle. Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn, said the bill will save lives and keep young people out of emergency rooms.
Sen. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, said that in other states with similar legislation, deaths from young people have been reduced by 60%. "We have more work to do. We cannot become jaded by the almost daily headlines we face each morning on more gun violence, more gun safety problems. Today, we take two positive steps forward with these two bills."
Both bills were filibustered by House Republicans, and passed without a single Republican vote in either chamber.