(The Center Square) - Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed two bills on Monday that sponsors say will reduce gun violence in the state.
House Bill 21-1106, known as the "Promoting Child Safety Through Responsible Firearm Storage Act," requires firearm owners to keep their weapon in a storage safe. The law, however, does not apply to antique firearms.
Firearm owners who fail to abide by the new law may be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor and held personally liable for crimes committed by a person in possession of a wrongfully stored gun.
The bill was sponsored by a Democratic coalition consisting of Sens. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, and Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Reps. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, and Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn.
Senate Bill 21-078 requires firearm owners to report lost or stolen guns within five days of discovering their weapon is missing.
Those who fail to abide by these provisions can be charged with a civil infraction resulting in a fine. The law does not apply to licensed gun dealers.
SB21-078 was sponsored by Sens. Sonya Jaquez-Lewis, D-Longmont, and Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and Reps. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial, and Leslie Herod, D-Denver.
Polis described both as "common sense" laws.
"Of course, this legislation can't bring back the many Coloradans we've lost to gun violence, we know this can also prevent future loss of life and is part of the healing process," Polis said.
Rep. Sullivan, who sponsored Colorado's emergency risk protective order legislation -- also known as the red flag gun law -- said the lawmakers who sponsored the bills are "champions for gun violence prevention here in the state of Colorado."
"We will keep working at this and will do everything we can to make sure our communities are safe, and to stop this public health crisis," he added.
According to the National Crime Information Center, there were 600 reported stolen firearms in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations reports that crimes against persons remained relatively flat between 2019 and 2020. The number of violent crimes spiked 6.5% last year.
The gun rights advocacy group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which opposed both bills, referred to them as "ANTI-GUN bills" in a Facebook post Monday.