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Colorado Senate passes bill on lost and stolen firearms

March 10, 2021 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Democrat-led Senate has passed a bill that would require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement or face a $25 fine for a first violation.

Wednesday’s 20-15 party-line vote sends the legislation to the House, also controlled by Democrats.

The bill’s Senate sponsors, Democrats Jessie Danielson and Sonya Jaquez Lewis, argued the initiative would help law enforcement recover missing weapons, fight firearms trafficking and reduce gun violence. Police agencies would report missing firearms to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, which shares information to law enforcement nationwide.

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Senate Republicans, including Jim Smallwood, wondered how the bill would reduce gun violence if a missing weapon is already on the streets. Others said it might criminalize gun owners who themselves are victims of the crime of theft.

On Tuesday, the House passed legislation requiring firearms to be securely stored to prevent unauthorized youth and other persons from accessing them. In that case, too, Republicans questioned whether the bill was intended to criminalize responsible gun owners or encourage good conduct.

Democratic Reps. Kyle Mullica and Monica Duran, the bill’s House sponsors, argued it would help reduce suicides by youth and others as well as accidental shootings.