DENVER (KDVR) — In recent years, state lawmakers have moved to address gun violence through state law, yet we continue to see shootings happen.
Sadly, this is an issue lawmakers at the Capitol were already looking at before the shooting on Saturday happened, saying the latest tragedy puts an exclamation point on their intentions.
“Unfortunately, I think, not only did we know that this or something similar was coming, but we could have a similar story every day,” Representative Meg Froelich said.
Froelich along with 21 other Democrats at the state Capitol announced just last Tuesday they will be forming a gun violence prevention caucus at the Capitol next session.
“This toxic combination of hate and access to guns is so fundamentally a heartbreakingly part of our Colorado existence, and it’s the reason why we formed the gun violence prevention caucus to address this situation,” Froelich said.
She said it is tough to change hatred with policy but lawmakers are looking into answers about guns.
“The piece of access to guns for the perpetrators of these kinds of crimes and to the daily toll of gun violence that is exasperated by easy access to guns is the part we are seeking to address in policy change,” Froelich said.
The 20-plus lawmakers in the group said they ran on the issue of gun violence. Some members like Senator Rhonda Fields and Senator-elect Tom Sullivan, both of Aurora, have been personally impacted by gun violence; each of them losing a son.
Advocates for gun violence prevention said some of the solutions the caucus should explore may not have prevented this shooting.
“Some of them are not even so relevant to this situation. One of the things that has been discussed a lot is an assault weapons minimum age. Well, generally when people put minimum age they’d put it at 21 but in this case, the shooter was 22,” Eileen McCarron of Colorado Cease Fire said.
Lawmakers included in the caucus are:
- Representative Judy Amabile
- Representative Jennifer Bacon
- Representative Tracey Bernett
- Representative Andy Boesenecker
- Representative Lindsey Daugherty
- Representative Monica Duran
- Representative-Elect Elizabeth Epps
- Representative Meg Froelich
- Representative-Elect Eliza Hamrick
- Representative Iman Jodeh
- Representative-Elect Junie Joseph
- Representative Karen McCormick
- Representative Michaelson Jenet
- Representative Emily Sirota
- Representative Mike Weissman
- Representative Steven Woodrow
- Senator Jessie Danielson
- Senator Rhonda Fields
- Senator Chris Hansen
- Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis
- Senator Chris Kolker
- Senator-Elect Tom Sullivan
Advocates said it is a very tricky issue to solve, especially with Colorado already having preventative laws on the books already, but lawmakers say they are committed to finding the right answer. Governor Jared Polis’ office said he has spoken to some of the victims in the wake of the shooting.