DENVER (KDVR) — Gun-related violence has doubled or even tripled in Colorado in the last decade, depending on the metric.
Colorado Democrats are hoping a slew of firearm restrictions will pass this session. The bills include an assault weapons ban, a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases, additions to Colorado’s existing “red flag” laws and increasing the legal handgun purchase age to 21.
The context around the bills follows several mass public shootings in Colorado in the past two years and a general increase in the levels of firearm-related crime and firearm-related suicide.
Both the total number and the rate of firearm-related crimes have been climbing in Colorado for a decade, spiking especially high beginning in 2020.
There were just over 4,200 firearm-related crimes committed in Colorado in 2012, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation data. That almost tripled in 10 years. Last year, there were nearly 11,000.
It isn’t attributable to Colorado’s explosion in population through the 2010s, either. Colorado had 82 firearm-related violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2012. In 2022, that had more than doubled to 187 per 100,000.
Violent crime is committed with all kinds of weapons, and the number of violent crimes committed with weapons other than guns has risen in the last 10 years. However, the number of firearm-related crimes has risen more than those committed with other weapons.
There were 6,700 more gun-related crimes committed in 2022 than in 2012. At the same time, the number of crimes with other dangerous weapons rose by almost 1,600, with personal weapons by 1,300, and asphyxia by 992.