GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Storing your firearms safely should be the norm. That’s what Che Wentz, a local hunter, believes.
“You should keep your guns safe that’s just common sense. Let’s do the right thing so people stay safe,” says Wentz. About 19 children die or are medically treated in this country for gunshot wounds every day, according to a 2017 study by the CDC. And house bill 1106 aims to prevent precisely just that in Colorado, by making it mandatory for people who live with children or other unauthorized gun users like felons, to store their guns safely.
But firearm legislation almost always stirs up a level of controversy, and Wentz is on the fence on this bill. “If there’s a need for this bill it’s a shame,” says Wentz. “At the same time I’m never a fan of bills that try to tell people how to conduct themselves in their own households.”
Colorado’s Democrat controlled house passed the bill with a 40 to 25 vote, more or less along party lines. “All of the republicans voted against it, plus we picked up one Democrat,” says Representative Matt Soper of District 54. He says the bill goes against the second and fourth amendment.
“If you have to have a mandatory trigger lock on your firearm and you’re needing to use your firearm for self defense or protection, that’s going to be an impediment to your second amendment rights,” says Soper. Soper also believes the bill won’t create meaningful change in suicide rates or gun accidents, and that funding firearm education would help a lot more. “We already have a mechanism to try to effectuate change that this bill is attempting to do. I would just like to see our hunter safety program expanded.” says Soper.
Now that house bill 1106 has passed the house, it’s on it’s way to the Democrat- controlled Colorado senate.