A Democrat-backed bill to create a state Office of Gun Violence Prevention got its first hearing before a Colorado legislative committee Friday, with backers arguing it could educate residents about gun safety and existing laws on firearms while collecting data about gun violence in the state.
Opponents, however, told the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee the proposed office would amount to a gun-control agency in state government and duplicate existing programs to deter homicides, suicides and domestic violence and offer mental health services.
The bill is one of three introduced by Democrats in response to the March 22 Boulder supermarket shooting that killed 10 people. The others would allow tightened background checks and allow municipalities greater freedom to adopt their own gun control laws.
The bill involving the office calls for $3 million to create it within the state health department. It would act as a clearinghouse on gun violence data and create public service advertisements for state and local programs aimed at suicide prevention, gang-related violence and other issues.
— James Anderson in Colorado lawmakers consider new office on gun violence