DENVER (KDVR) — Governor Polis had a busy day of signing bills Monday. He started the day off by signing two measures designed to decrease gun violence into law.
In a tearful ceremony, Polis took a step to make sure the state has a better chance of making sure guns are accounted for.
“This bill simply makes sure that if you’re a gun owner and your firearm is lost or stolen, you need to report it within five days. It’s the right thing to do for the people we care about. Many Coloradans already report lost or stolen guns. Now, they have to,” Polis said.
Under the lost and stolen firearm legislation, if an owner does not report the firearm lost or stolen within five days of them realizing its missing, the first instance will be a civil infraction with a fine of $25. The second offense is a misdemeanor with fines up to $500.
Lawmakers named the bill after Isabella Joy Thallas who was killed after someone shot her with an unreported stolen gun.
“What saddens me and what hurts the most is that it takes a mother of murdered daughter to stand up and speak and try to make a difference in this state,” Ana Thallas, Isabella’s mother, said as she fought back tears.
The Thallas family are not the only ones speaking up.
Maisha Fields turned her grief into passion after her brother Javad Fields was murdered in 2005 by people using untraceable guns. Fields backed this effort but is calling on lawmakers to do more.
“What I’d like to see is an awakening of the American people also of our elected officials to have a greater sense of urgency,” Fields said. “We need to find out where these guns are coming from. We need to keep track of them and then we need to get them out of our communities. We need elected officials with the courage to do it.”
Lawmakers also signed a bill that sparked 10 hours of debate on the floor of the legislature. The Safe Storage of Firearms Act will require gun dealers to provide a lock with firearms they sell starting this July. It also adds an unlawful storage charge if a gun is unsecure when a child is present.
“This bill upholds safety standards from the point of sale. To make sure new and used guns come with a trigger or cable locking device when they are sold,” Polis said.
“People believe in the idea of safe and responsible gun ownership and this is your opportunity right here. With this bill, we are defining what safe storage is,” said bill sponsor Kyle Mullica.
Votes for the bills mostly fell along party lines in the House and Senate; with many voting against them saying the measures will not do much to address the gun crisis.