A Colorado bill that would impose safe storage requirements for firearms passed its first hurdle March 1 in the Legislature. The bill passed the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on a vote of 7-4, along party lines.
Sponsored by Reps. Monica Duran of Wheat Ridge and Kyle Mullica of Northglenn, both Democrats, House Bill 21-1106 would create a new class 2 misdemeanor for unlawful storage of a firearm.
A person could be prosecuted for unlawful firearm storage if a young adult could gain access to a firearm without their parent or guardian’s permission; or if someone barred from having a gun lives on the premises where a firearm is not properly stored. To comply with the bill, a firearm would have to be kept on the lawful owner’s person or stored in a way that “a reasonable person would believe to be secure.”
Under the bill, licensed gun dealers would be required to provide a locking device with each firearm purchase, or they could be subject to a $500 fine. The locking device would need to prohibit someone from using a gun unless they could open the lock with a key, combination or fingerprint verification.
“In Colorado, a child is injured with a gun on average once a day, and a child dies at the hands of a firearm once a week,” Duran said in a statement following the bill’s passage out of committee. “The shocking number of suicides and accidental deaths involving firearms in children and teens demands action. This bill will save lives by promoting the type of responsible behavior that the vast majority of Colorado gun owners like myself already practice.”