Trigger Locks: Not Colorado

Although one of five states do so, Colorado has no laws requiring gun dealers to provide trigger locks when selling guns. None, zero, nada, zip.

Trigger locks can help protect children from gunshot injuries, and cost as little as $10, argue advocates. Opponents claim that they are too expensive and amount to a tax on gun owners.

In California, the state requires that all guns that are sold be accompanied by safety locks approved by the Department of Justice. Maryland requires built-in locks.

Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are the other states that have at least some requirements for trigger locks. The 40 other states do not, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

In the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine tragedy, in which students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher, the Colorado legislature considered a number of gun safety bills, which all failed. These included several bills by Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon’s (D) to require safe storage of guns, the latest of which failed in 2004.

In 2000, after the legislature refused to approve a similar measure, Colorado voters voted in favor of Amendment 22, which requires criminal background checks for people buying guns at gun shows.

Meanwhile, in 2003, a new law backed by gun groups went into effect creating a uniform statewide system for granting concealed weapons.

Earlier this summer, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) sponsored a successful amendment to a federal spending bill that would defund a requirement that gun dealers provide trigger locks when selling hand guns. The fate of that amendment rests on the final agreement between the House and Senate on the spending bill.

[crosposted at]