DENVER — Gun owners in Colorado could soon be required to securely lock up their firearms at home if a new bill becomes law.
As State Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, sees it — gun locks just make sense.
“This is about accident prevention,” Duran said. “And this is about saving lives.”
She and State Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn, are introducing a new bill that — if passed — would require gun owners in Colorado to lock up their weapons at home.
“Obviously, storing it in a safe would count as safe storage,” Mullica said. “A trigger lock or a cable lock counts as safe storage.”
It’s an issue with both strong support for it and vocal opposition against it.
“This bill is an egregious violation on our constitutional rights,” said Greg Trout at a committee hearing at the Colorado State Capitol on Monday. “It would give criminals an advantage when breaking into our homes and businesses. It gives them critical time to break through the door and perpetrate that crime.”
But, both Mullica and Duran argue that their bill is not a "gun grab" or about infringing on anyone’s rights. Both lawmakers are gun owners themselves.
“I’m a gun owner,” Duran said. “I have a concealed carry permit.”
“I’m not only a gun owner and a hunter and a dad, I’m also an ER nurse,” Mullica said. “And so, I see gun accidents coming in. This is a common-sense bill. You talk to a majority of gun owners and they believe in safe storage. But the fact is — there are kids still getting hurt. There are kids still dying.”
It’s certainly not new. At least 15 other states already have similar laws on the books. And just last month, Littleton, Colorado became the first city in the state to pass a city ordinance requiring gun shop owners to lock up their inventory after-hours.
That ordinance comes as gun shop smash-and-grabs are on the rise.
Viewers of Scripps station KMGH in Denver shared their thoughts on the new proposed bill.
"We support Littleton’s decision. Jewelry store owners do this routinely at night,” Norman and Cheryl from Arvada, Colorado said in an email.
Susan called it a "no-brainer."
"So the city’s plan is to punish the victim of a crime (the store owners) while not bothering to try and find the actual criminals?” Fred wrote in to say.
Old Steel Gun Shop in Littleton argues that locking up all firearms at night would be costly and difficult to near impossible.
“It would be hard to believe that a city would want to put a business out of business,” said Old Steel owner Giovanni Galeano.
The proposed bill at the state level would require all guns sold in Colorado — handguns, pistols and long guns — to include a trigger lock or cable lock at the point of sale.
It only requires those items to be locked up at home, not if the firearm is on-person or in a vehicle.
“It’s also going to be a big deal in terms of lowering the youth suicide rate in Colorado,” Mullica said. “Which is eighth-worst in the country — and that’s unacceptable.”
Duran sees the cost of locks as a small price to pay.
“We’re always hearing a story about how a 2-year-old got a hold of a gun, or a child got hold of a gun or a teenager did,” Duran said. “That’s really what this bill is about.”
The bill must now pass the full House and full Senate in the Colorado state legislature.
This story was originally published by Russell Haythorn on KMGH in Denver.