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Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed several bills into law this afternoon, including two important bills having to do with gun safety.
SB21-078 Lost or Stolen Firearms – Sponsored by Representatives T. Sullivan & L. Herod and Senators S. Jaquez Lewis & J. Danielson.
The bill spells out the responsibility of an individual firearm owner to report a missing firearm. At least one of the recent mass shootings used stolen guns.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Red Flag Bill into law. To his left, Colorado State Representative Tom Sullivan, who sponsored the bill and whose son died in the Aurora Theater shooting. Photo courtesy CBS News,Denver.

According to the Giffords Law Center, named for its founder Gabby Giffords, an Arizona lawmaker gunned down several years ago by a disgruntled, mentally disturbed constituent, every year, hundreds of thousands of guns are lost or stolen in America.

Statistically, every two minutes in American, a gun is stolen from an individual owner. Stolen guns can be diverted to the illegal gun market, where they are used to fuel crime across the country. Lost and stolen reporting laws help reduce gun trafficking by requiring individuals to report loss or theft to law enforcement shortly after discovering it.

The Giffords Law Center reports that from 2006 to 2016, the number of guns reported stolen from individuals increased by approximately 60 percent..1 many cities have reported alarming spikes in the number of firearms stolen from cars.2 Nationally–representative survey data indicates that approximately 380,000 guns are stolen from individual gun owners each year.3

Until today, only 14 states had mandatory reporting laws for lost and stolen firearms: Colorado is now the 15th state to enact such a law.

The bill requires an individual who owns a firearm to report the loss or theft of that firearm to a law enforcement agency within five days after discovering that the firearm was lost or stolen. A first offense for failure to make such a report is a petty offense civil infraction punishable by a $25 fine, and a second or subsequent offense is a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine. The five-day reporting requirement does not apply to a licensed gun dealer.

HB21-1106 Safe Storage of Firearms – Sponsored by Representatives M. Duran & K. Mullica and Senators J. Bridges & C. Hansen.

This bill’s purpose is to require that firearms be secured to prevent use by persons not lawfully permitted to possess firearms. This includes children, who are often the unfortunate victims of accidents with firearms left within their reach. Unlawful storage of a firearm is a class 2 misdemeanor.

The bill requires that “firearms be responsibly and securely stored when they are not in use to prevent access by unsupervised juveniles and other unauthorized users.”

The bill creates the offense of unlawful storage of a firearm if the person knows, or should know: that a juvenile can gain access to the firearm without permission, or that a resident of the premises is ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law.

The bill requires licensed gun dealers to provide with each firearm, at the time of a firearm sale or transfer, a locking device capable of securing the gun. Transferring a firearm without a locking device is an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine.

The bill also requires the office of suicide prevention within the department of public health and environment (department) to include on its website, and in materials provided to firearms-related businesses and health care providers, information about the offense of unlawful storage of a firearm, penalties for providing a handgun to a juvenile or allowing a juvenile to possess a firearm, and the requirement that gun dealers provide a locking device with each firearm transferred.

Subject to available money, the department will now be required to develop and implement a firearms safe storage education campaign to educate the public about the safe storage of firearms, state requirements related to firearms safety and storage, and information about voluntary temporary firearms storage programs.