Colorado Ceasefire …. Working for Freedom from Gun Violence
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2018 Governor candidates and stances on Gun Laws
Click the above link to read their responses
Colorado Legislature Convenes
Senators and Representatives begin their 2018 session Wednesday, January 10th. Expect a lot of election year posturing. For that reason, we forsee perhapsonly one pro-active gun violence prevention bill, but expect that the usual suspects will present their repeat efforts to weaken our gun laws: Guns in Schools (!!!), Permitless Concealed Carry (CCW), Repeal of High Capacity Magazine Ban, underage military and veterans CCW, and the perennial Stand Your Ground in Business location (would be 13th year).
Douglas County Tragedy
As with all of Colorado, we grieved the death of Zackari Parrish, a Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed in an ambush the last day of 2017. Four other law enforcement officers and two civilians were also wounded in the event. The shooter, who has mental health issues, had been problematic in dealings with law enforcement in Wyoming and in Douglas County, as well as with his own family.
A Wyoming gun dealer indicated he had sold eleven weapons a number of years ago to the shooter, one of which was an AR15 with a 100-round capability. Such a magazine size is illegal in Colorado, although devices possessed prior to July 1, 2013 are grandfathered.
With regard to public policy, we find two issues of concern:
- The likely use of a high capacity magazine. Over the last 4 years, Colorado’s General Assembly has considered (and rejected) eight proposals to repeal the 2013 ban on ammunition magazines capable of more than 15 rounds. Furthermore, most every sheriff in the state were plaintiffs in a lawsuit to overturn the ban. The district court rejected the suit, and the appellate court declared no one has standing. You also might remember that in 2016 Sen. John Cooke, former Weld County sheriff, stated on the floor of the Senate. “I tell my people to go to Wyoming.”
- The fact that law enforcement and the shooter’s family were concerned about his mental state and high level of risk. George Brauchler, District Attorney for the area, stated ““I wish there was something that was there that we could have acted on . . . I don’t see it. I don’t know what that thing is.” Actually, “that thing” is a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) or Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), which allows family and law enforcement to temporarily disarm a person who is presenting a heightened risk to themselves or others.
Eileen McCarron of Ceasefire appeared on Channel 31 News a few days after the shooting to discuss the applicability of a GVRO law to the Douglas shooting.
In May of 2016, Ceasefire held a symposium on GVRO concepts with professionals in law enforcement and behavioral health. We were hoping to advance such a bill last year, but the results of the 2016 elections were a deterrent to proceeding. Nevertheless, we believe the Douglas County shooting demonstrates it is a concept worth pursuing.
- City and County of Denver: Will be considering an amendment to its Assault Weapons Ban to 1) prohibit the possession of bump stocks and 2) limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds (to match state law). Testimony will be taken at City Hall on Tuesday, January 16th at 5:00 p.m. A vote will be taken on Monday, January 22nd at 5:30 p.m.
- Colorado: A bill to ban bump stocks may be introduced this coming session.
- Federal: The ATF is beginning a rule making process on bump stocks. Reportedly, gun enthusiasts are already flooding the comment line indicating these devices, which enable semi-automatic firearms to fire like automatics, should not be regulated. Please visit the federal web site to submit a comment. The Center for American Progress has provided adraft text that you can use to construct your comments. Note that your comments will be part of the public record. Comment deadline is January 25th.
Lobby Day – Save the Date
CFCU (Colorado Faith Communities United Against Gun Violence) and Colorado Ceasefire are hosting a Lobby Day on January 25th at St. Paul’s Lutheran and Catholic Church, 1600 Grant Street, Denver.
Time: From 10 a.m. to noonish, followed by legislative visits. Bring a bag lunch. Recommend taking the bus or car-pooling. BE A VOICE for common sense solutions to preventing gun violence.
MARADE – Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ceasefire will march in the Denver Marade (MLK Parade) on Monday January 15th. Join us and walk behind our banner with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s words “Unarmed Truth and Unconditional Love will have the Final Word.”
Time: Speeches start at 9:30 a.m. Stepoff at 10:45 a.m.
Place: Start: MLK memorial in City Park, Denver. March proceeds down Colfax Ave. to Civic Center Park
Dress: For the Weather.
Last year’s march was incredible with over 100,000 attending. Join with us to march to prevent gun violence.
Date: Saturday, January 20th
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Place: Ceasefire will gather as we did last year — under the pony on the red chair on the north side of the Denver Central library (close to 14th Ave. and Broadway). Look for our signs or banner.
Mike Keefe, a Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist, spoke at our 15th Anniversary celebration several years ago. He was perfect for this as, over the years, he has definitely addressed gun violence and the insanity of the gun lobby’s power over elected officials. The Colorado Independent, an on-line non-profit news source, now has an article featuring a number of his works related to gun violence.
- Mike Littwin with The Colorado Independent speaks about the writes about combination of mental illness and guns in the Douglas County Shooting. Dave Perry of the Aurora Sentinel does likewise.
- A volunteer with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has teamed up with the National Shooting Sports Foundation to prevent suicides. AFSP is making a bargain with the devil, as about 50% of suicides are accomplished with firearms. As part of their partnership they banned groups who work on gun violence prevention from participating in their walks.
- Trump Appointee’s nomination to a Defense Department post is blocked because he spoke his mind about civilians owning assault weapons.