Saturday, December 4, 2021

Colorado Representative Joe Negues to Introduce Gun Bill Related to Boulder King Soopers Shooting

US Representative Joe Negues will introduce legislation in the House on Thursday to bar those convicted of violent misconduct from buying firearms for five years, a measure Lafayette Democrats said could help prevent tragedies like the Boulder King Sopers massacre from happening again. could.

“In this case it seems very clear to me that this person would not have been able to buy a weapon if this law had been the law of the land in Colorado and eventually at the federal level,” Negues told The Denver Post in an interview. Wednesday, speaking about the Boulder suspect.

The King Sopers mass shooting that killed 10 people on March 22 after assaulting a classmate at Arvada West High School last year was convicted of misdemeanor in 2018. According to an affidavit in the case, 18-year-old Ahmed Al Aliwi Alisa punched a classmate in the head without warning, and continued to punch her when the boy fell to the ground.

Alisa was sentenced to probation and 48 hours of community service. But that didn’t stop him from buying a gun at the Arvada gun store a few days before the fatal attack on a Boulder grocery store, Negues said.

“We learned that he had a well-documented history of violence, that he was convicted of third-degree assault – which is a violent misdemeanor – and that despite that conviction, he was ultimately legalized under state and federal law. was well deserved, it appears. Buy a weapon, ”said the Congressman. “Which is untenable in my view, and which we can easily fix.”

But the prospect of Negues’ bill, called the Safer Communities Act 202, getting through the Senate, which is split evenly between the two political parties and where little gun control legislation has been passed in recent decades, is at best. is undecided. Congressman acknowledged as much but said “we must never assume that the Senate is impervious to public opinion.”

Colorado lawmakers passed a bill last spring that bars people convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses from buying guns for five years. But Negues’ office said that while less than half of the states have legislation like that, “these individuals are still eligible to purchase firearms in the remaining states, creating a patchwork of entitlements and increasing the risk of firearms-related violence.” are.”

“To address this epidemic of gun violence, we must propose a national solution to be implemented across the country,” Negues said.

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But Dave Kopel, research director of the liberal-leaning Freedom Institute and Second Amendment rights advocate, said what matters is which specific offenses are cited to deter someone from buying a gun.

“The Negues bill is potentially going to depend on state law definitions of crimes, and state definitions vary widely,” Kopel said. “Some are tightly written, and some are so broad that the Negues bill could prohibit the exercise of constitutional rights by people for very minor misconduct.”

Koppel said the bill could face the same damages as a 1980s federal law on felony convictions involving “conduct that presents a serious potential risk of bodily injury to another” faced in 2015. Demands stricter punishment when the US Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutionally vague.

“It’s much easier to avoid the problem of ambiguity at the state level, where the legislature can list particular laws that trigger prohibition,” Koppel said.

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