Gov. Jared Polis signed the sixth gun bill passed by lawmakers during the 2021 legislative session, a move that will cap the General Assembly’s most productive year on firearm legislation this decade.
At a Tuesday evening ceremony at the PorchLight Family Justice Center in Lakewood, Polis put his signature on House Bill 1255. The measure from Reps. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, and Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, and Sens. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Longmont, and Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood is aimed at strengthening Colorado’s process to get firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Under the bill, those who have a protection order filed against them following a domestic violence arrest are required to file an affidavit with the court indicating the number, type and location of the firearms in their possession.
Current law already requires those who have a protection order filed against them to give up their guns, but lawmakers from both sides of the aisle indicated compliance with that mandate is not universal. The measure seeks to bolster the requirement by adding a mandate that those who have protection orders filed against them submit a signed declaration confirming they have relinquished their firearms.
The bill signing is set to come after the governor on Saturday put pen to paper on a trio of bills introduced in the aftermath of the Boulder King Soopers mass shooting. Those include:
- House Bill 1298 from Pettersen, Reps. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder, and Steven Woodrow, D-Denver, and Sens. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, which will to expand and tighten background check requirements;
- House Bill 1299 from Reps. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial, and Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver, and Sens. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Chris Hansen, D-Denver, creating the Office of Gun Violence Prevention; and
- Senate Bill 256 from Sens. Stephen Fenberg, D-Boulder, and Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Reps. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder, and Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada, which lifts Colorado's ban on local governments passing stricter gun laws than the state's.
Earlier in the session, Polis also signed into law House Bill 1106, which mandates the safe storage of firearms when not in use, and Senate Bill 78, which requires firearm owners to report to law enforcement within five days if their weapon is lost or stolen.
This session’s gun legislation marks the first time since 2019 where lawmakers have put a gun bill on the governor’s desk. That was House Bill 19-1177, the so-called "red flag" measure that allows family, household members or law enforcement to petition a court for an "extreme risk protection order" to have guns seized from an owner if they believe he or she poses a threat to themselves or others.
Prior to that, the last significant legislative effort on guns came in the 2013 session where lawmakers passed bills on concealed handgun permits, large-capacity magazines, background checks for private firearms transfers and a precursor to this session’s domestic abuser legislation.
While at PorchLight, Polis also signed House Bill 1228, which will boost domestic violence and child abuse training for court personnel, and Senate Bill 292, which will will send $15 million in federal stimulus funds to victim’s services programs.
Also on the Tuesday schedule for Polis: stops along the Western Slope in Grand Junction, Palisade, Glenwood Springs and Avon for bill signings.
This article has been updated.