Doug Dean's Letter To Gun Owners
Just so there is no misunderstanding with the members of various gun owner organizations, let me make it clear that Republicans are not supporting any measures which infringe on our second amendment rights. I was disappointed that the media characterized our approach on negligence leading to juvenile access as "safe storage".
We are not proposing mandating safe storage laws. All we propose is that if a juvenile obtains a firearm and subsequently commits a crime, and if it is then determined that the child obtained the firearm through an act of gross negligence by an adult (e.g. an adult leaves a loaded gun on a coffee table and a kid picks it up and accidentally shoots his friend), then the adult could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. Sen. Pat Pascoe (D-Denver) is proposing a trigger lock/gun locker bill, and I will do everything in my power to defeat it.
On the other issues that we agreed with the Governor on: Including juvenile records in background check, prohibiting straw purchase, and raising the age to purchase HANDGUNS from 18 to 21, there should be no disagreement. Note: The Youth Summit paper had a typographical error - it did not intend to raise the age to purchase firearms at gun shows to 21, only HANDGUNS, which as you know, is already federal law. We should have no trouble re-stating that in state law.
That leaves the issue of background checks at gun shows. Frankly, this makes me uneasy because it may be perceived as a step to registering firearms owners. But we know the Democrats are going to try to do this. So what I ask from the firearms community is a little help and guidance. If it becomes inevitable that we end up with a bill requiring background checks at gun shows, I want it done OUR way. Not the Democrats' way. If there is a way to do it without trampling on the rights of the law-abiding, let's see if we can find it.
Feel free to copy and distribute this e-mail to anyone you think may benefit from it. I don't want anyone to think that the Republicans have abandoned gun owners based on the reports in the news.
Colorado House Majority Leader