DENVER (KDVR) — After another weekend of violence in the metro area, state leaders are hoping to curb the trend.
Two laws aimed at preventing gun violence went into effect on October 1, but both are also sparking some controversy.
SB23-168 Ends certain legal protections for the firearms industry in the event of a design or manufacturing defect.
Rep. Jennifer Parenti, a sponsor of the bill, said the law restores the path for victims of gun violence to seek justice in court.
“It has the same level of liability and accountability as any other industry in our state. Car manufacturers, alcohol retailers, cigarette retailers, they all have a responsibility to ensure that their products are sold responsibly to the right audience, and if they don’t, they can be sued,” said Rep. Parenti. “I just thought it was a really good niche bill that would help reduce gun violence in our communities, but wouldn’t necessarily impinge on an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.”
Opponents say the new law opens the firearms industry to frivolous lawsuits.
This backlash continues with another new law, HB23-1219which sets a three-day waiting period for the purchase of a firearm.
“Martin Luther King once said, ‘A right delayed is a right denied.’ That’s what this bill does. It delays a right,” said Taylor Rhodes of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.
The organization refiled a lawsuit challenging HB23-1219 On October 1st he questioned the constitutionality of the “Waiting Period Act”.
“We’re talking about constitutional freedoms, not privileges, so we’re suing under the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment,” Rhodes said.
Other advocates said the three-day waiting period could help curb impulsive acts of violence.
“People who might commit domestic violence, people who might commit violence at school or in the workplace, that waiting period can really make a difference,” said Rep. Parenti.
Lumumba Sayers lost his son to gun violence this year and knows the impact it can have on his loved ones.
“I don’t believe there will ever be enough justice to ease the pain and grief the family is going through,” Sayers said. “No matter how many laws they pass, these people will still be able to get their hands on guns. Guns don’t kill people, people do.”
Sayers said there is no single solution to curb gun violence, but it starts with the community.
“I want everyone to come together. Bigger and better than ever while remaining authentic without hate,” said Sayers.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said they are waiting to hear back from a judge on the next steps in their lawsuit.
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