Once upon a time, Colorado was a pretty good place to live. Friends who have been there for decades tell me it was a wonderful place full of everything from big-city sophistication to rugged outdoor adventures. It kind of had it all.
Then people started moving out of California and everything went to hell.
Now, the state is trying to become so anti-gun it’s not even funny. Two measures along those lines cleared significant hurdles.
A bill that would require people to safely store guns in their homes and another requiring people report lost or stolen firearms within five days cleared their first hurdles in the Colorado Legislature this week.
The Democratic-backed proposals moved forward after at least one late-night hearing and without Republican support; one is headed to the House for a vote and the other the Senate.
Here’s a look at the measures and arguments for and against them.
Democratic lawmakers are looking to mandate that firearms that could be accessible to children, teenagers or adults living in the home who shouldn’t have access to a gun be securely stored when not in use. If that’s found not to be the case, gun owners could face a Class 2 misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Now, this isn’t as bad as it could be. At least it’s not a felony.
Regardless, though, this is bad news. See, not every child is the same. Some are mature enough to be trusted with access to a firearm should the need arise. We’ve run a number of stories where innocent people would have died had a child not been able to access a firearm and use it to protect human life.
Further, mandating storage simply makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens who are of age to access a gun in a crisis. Such laws don’t make anyone safer.
Lost and stolen guns
Democrats are also looking to require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to police within five days of finding out they’re missing. If they don’t, they could face a civil infraction of a $25 fine for the first failure to report; a second failure could result in an unclassified misdemeanor charge, carrying a fine of up to $500.
Police also will be required to enter information about the lost or stolen guns in the National Crime Information Center database and report it to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
That’s all fine and good, but how many people simply don’t realize their guns are gone?
A firearm left in a glove box or tucked away in a spare closet aren’t guns people lay eyes on every day. I don’t inspect my own firearms every day, after all.
So what happens if they don’t even know they’re missing? Are people going to be charged?
And what if they report them but don’t have the serial number? Let’s also be honest here, a lot of folks aren’t that savvy when it comes to their guns. They report their gun stolen, but all they know is that it’s a “Glock 40.” How useful is that information?
These laws exist in a number of places, but none of them seem to really have addressed any of these issues.
Unfortunately, I doubt anyone in Colorado with the inclination to stop these bills actually has the pull to stop them. My condolences to those in The Centennial State.