In 2013, Senate bill 197 was passed requiring people convicted of domestic violence, who had a protection order issued against them, to relinquish their firearms. But according to State Rep. Monica …
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In 2013, Senate bill 197 was passed requiring people convicted of domestic violence, who had a protection order issued against them, to relinquish their firearms. But according to State Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, because of a lack of funds in some counties and for many other reasons, it wasn’t being enforced like it should have been.
So, as a survivor of domestic abuse herself, she started looking into ways to increase enforcement once she was elected.
Now, HB21-1255, sponsored by Duran is under consideration in the state legislature.
The bill would give domestic abusers with a protection order issued against them (commonly referred to as a restraining order) seven business days to complete and file an affidavit that discloses the number, type and location of all firearms and ammunition in their possession.
If the person does not own firearms at the time the protection order is issued, they would be required to report their non-ownership in the affidavit. Those who don’t file the affidavit within the given seven days would face a compliance hearing with the court.
There are also provisions in the bill dealing with the relinquishment, transfer of ownership, purchases, sales and storage of firearms by a person with a protection order against them.
Duran said for her, having been in a situation where her life had been threatened by an abuser who had access to firearms — she knew there was a critical window of time for enforcement.
She said lack of process has also been hindering enforcement of the 2013 law. She’s been working on the issue for the past two years and thinks feedback from law enforcement, Sheriffs and District Attorneys has given HB21-1255 the procedural elements and a clear path to make the 2013 law more enforceable.
“It also closes the boyfriend loophole,” Duran said. “Currently, if the couple wasn’t married, and the abuser was just a boyfriend, there wasn’t much you could do. This bill says, married, boyfriend —whatever the situation, you can still file that protection order.”
Duran said she wants victims to feel as safe as possible and to remove some of the fear they have about reporting domestic abuse.
“They’re (victims) afraid of repercussions, they’re afraid of what might happen,” she said. “But if they know that the law that was passed in 2013 exists, but we’ve laid out a process for it to be enforced,
it gives them that sense of safety and security — as much as they can have in a situation like this, then why wouldn’t we do it?”
The bill is also sponsored by state Senator Brittany Pettersen, Representative Matt Gray and state Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis.
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