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Colorado lawmakers meet with gun safety groups as they consider new regulations

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Scott Franz
/
KUNC
Newspapers in the Colorado House of Representatives on the day after 10 people were killed in a mass shooting in Boulder in March 2021. Lawmakers are expected to propose new gun regulations after another mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

Colorado lawmakers met with two gun reform groups in Denver on Monday to talk about the bills they are considering to address gun violence in the upcoming legislative session.

“There’s so much on the table, probably over 20 things we could do in Colorado to address gun violence, and it’s going to be sorting out what is going to be the most effective and realizable,” said Eileen McCarron, the president of Colorado Ceasefire. “The Club Q shooting underscores that we still have serious problems dealing with people who are inappropriate with guns, who have access to very lethal firearms and are using them to annihilate other people’s lives.”

McCarron said the question of how to regulate assault weapons is the “elephant in the room.”

“It is the commonality of so many shootings,” she said.

She said the gun safety groups and lawmakers discussed the challenges associated with regulating assault weapons.

“How do you define them? How do you keep them from crossing state lines? What do you do about, gosh, how many millions of them are out there?” MCarron said.

Monday’s meeting with Colorado Ceasefire and another group, Giffords, was scheduled before the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.

MCCarron said it was not advertised publicly and was meant to be a conversation between gun safety advocates and lawmakers.

“If we opened it up to the public, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the meeting space,” McCarron said.

McCarron said at least a dozen Democratic lawmakers attended the meeting in person and on Zoom.

No recording of the meeting is available.

The policy discussion came less than two weeks after Democrats announced the formation of a new caucus to focus on gun violence prevention.

State Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood, is one of the caucus’ leaders.

“Since the Club Q tragedy, there's been the equivalent of the Club Q tragedy occurring in terms of the number of deaths in Colorado from gun violence,” Froelich said Friday. “So it is something that we want to address daily at the legislature and to have it be a priority at the legislature.

Froelich said organizing a new caucus will help lawmakers be more strategic in how they address gun violence, and less reactive with their policy decisions.

She added lawmakers are also discussing potential improvements to the so called red flag law, which allows for the temporary removal of firearms from a person who is deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Scott Franz is an Investigative Reporter with KUNC.