DENVER (KDVR) — On the heels of yet another violent weekend in the metro area, state leaders are hoping to curb the trend.
Two laws aimed at preventing gun violence took effect Oct. 1, but both are also sparking some controversy.
SB23-168 ends certain legal protections for the firearm industry in the case of a defect in design or manufacture.
Rep. Jennifer Parenti, a sponsor of the bill, said the law re-establishes pathways for victims of gun violence to seek justice through the courts.
“It’s the same level of liability and accountability that any other industry in our state has. Car manufacturers, alcohol distributors, cigarette distributors, they’re all responsible for making sure their products are sold to the correct target population and in a responsible way, and if they aren’t they can be sued,” Rep. Parenti said. “I just thought it was a really good, niche bill that would help reduce gun violence in our communities, but not necessarily impact any individuals’ right to keep and bear arms,”
Those in opposition say the new law opens the firearm industry to frivolous lawsuits.
That backlash continues with another new law, HB23-1219, establishing a three-day waiting period to buy a firearm.
“Martin Luther King once said, ‘A right delayed is a right denied.’ That is what this bill does. It delays a right,” Taylor Rhodes with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said.
The organization re-filed a lawsuit against HB23-1219 on Sunday challenging the constitutionality of the “waiting period act.”
“We’re talking about constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, not privileges, so we are suing under the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment,” Rhodes said.
Others in support said the three-day waiting period could help cut down on impulsive acts of violence.
“People who might commit acts of domestic violence, people who might commit acts of school violence, workplace violence, that waiting period can really make the difference,” Parenti said.
Lumumba Sayers lost his son to gun violence this year and knows the impact it can have on loved ones.
“I don’t think there will ever be enough justice to get rid of the pain and the sorrow that the family has to go through,” Sayers said. “Regardless of how many laws they put in place, these people are still going to be able to get a hold of guns. Guns don’t kill people, people do.”
Sayers said there’s not one solution to curb gun violence, but it starts with the community.
“I want to see everyone come together. Bigger and better than ever before and at the same time be genuine without any hate,” Sayers said.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said they are waiting to hear back from a judge on the next steps with their lawsuit.