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Rep. Neguse announces gun violence prevention legislation in wake of Boulder mass shooting

Boulder Mass Shooting
Posted at 10:28 AM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 18:35:29-04

BOULDER, Colo. — Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse plans to announce new gun violence prevention legislation on Thursday afternoon related to the mass shooting in Boulder earlier this year.

Neguse, who's also the vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, will host a virtual press conference at 3:30 p.m. to unveil the End Gun Violence Act.

This legislation will restrict the sale of firearms to those convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes in the last five years. The suspect in the Boulder shooting had been previously convicted of a violent misdemeanor.

Neguse said 22 states plus the District of Columbia currently prohibit handgun purchases by individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors, but they can still purchase the firearms in the other states.

“While our local law enforcement seek justice for the senseless act of violence perpetrated against our community on March 22nd, we are working to change the law to prevent future tragedies,” Neguse said ahead of the press conference. “Ensuring that firearms cannot be sold to violent individuals is crucial to preventing gun violence and saving lives. This law is common-sense and would keep guns out of the hands of those likely to use them to perpetrate violence.”

Several people will join Neguse for the announcement, including Congressman Jake Auchincloss, co-lead on the legislation, the family of a woman who was killed in the shooting, Boulder Deputy District Attorney Christian Gardner-Wood, and Federal Policy Director at Giffords Lindsay Nichols.

The mother of Teri Leiker, who was killed in the shooting, called this kind of federal law "essential."

"State laws prohibiting gun sales to these type of individuals do not protect innocent people in other states who don't have strict gun laws," Margie Leiker said. "Federal legislation is absolutely necessary.”

Click here to read the full bill.

Ten people were killed on March 22 when a gunman stormed a King Soopers in Boulder. They were identified as:

  • Denny Stong, 20
  • Neven Stanisic, 23
  • Rikki Olds, 25
  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
  • Suzanne Fountain, 59
  • Teri Leiker, 51
  • Officer Eric Talley, 51
  • Kevin Mahoney, 61
  • Lynn Murray, 62
  • Jody Waters, 65

The suspect was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and dozens of others charges.

In mid October, the suspect was ruled incompetent to stand trial, according to court documents. Prosecutors have asked for a second evaluation.

The suspect purchased his gun legally in Arvada after passing a background check.

READ MORE: As Boulder tries to heal, activists are once again calling for lawmakers to act

A few weeks after the shooting, President Joe Biden issued executive orders aimed at "ghost guns" and other gun modifications, citing the Boulder shooting as an example of what at least one of his orders would target.

He also called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and ordered the Justice Department to publish model "red flag" legislation for states that don't already have a red flag law. Colorado enacted a red flag law in 2020.

In April, Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill called the Isabella Joy Thallas Act, which requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within five days of realizing its missing. It went into effect in early September.

He also signed the safe storage for firearms bill, which would require, starting July 1, gun owners to use a gun safe, trigger lock or cable lock when someone who is ineligible to possess a firearm could access the gun or guns.