Headlines for March 28, 2023
Colorado Lawmakers On Brink Of Passing Two More Gun Safety Measures
Colorado lawmakers are on the brink of passing two major pieces of gun safety legislation, with two more edging closer. A bill that would raise the age to legally buy a firearm to twenty-one, and another that would impose a three-day waiting period before a gun purchase can be completed, passed two key obstacles yesterday. The age limit bill passed a formal vote in the state House of Representatives, while the waiting period bill passed a voice vote, with the formal vote still to come. With a Democratic majority, approval seems likely. Once that happens, both measures will go to Governor Jared Polis to be signed into law.
Two additional bills passed the House over the weekend. One of them would expand Colorado’s red-flag law, while the other would make it easier to sue gun makers. Lawmakers still have to reconcile differences between Senate and House versions, but that is expected to happen without difficulty.
A gun safety group praised lawmakers for passing those two bills. A spokesperson with the Giffords Law Center said in a press release that it’s critical that victims of gun violence are able to hold the gun industry accountable.
Gun Manufacturers Face Another Lawsuit From Boulder King Soopers Shooting
At the same time, new litigation against the company that made the firearm used in the massacre at a Boulder King Soopers two years ago is expected to be filed this week. The lawsuit by relatives of five of the victims accuses Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger and Company of marketing its AR-556 pistol in a reckless and immoral way that highlighted the weapon’s ability to kill. The alleged shooter bought the AR-556 legally.
Under federal law, gun makers are generally protected from liability, but there’s an exception for how weapons are marketed.
Another lawsuit, brought by the son of a sixth King Soopers shooting victim, was filed on March 14th, and on the same grounds. The Associated Press says these lawsuits are similar to a lawsuit against gunmaker Remington by relatives of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting victims. That lawsuit was settled last year for $73 million dollars.
Last week marked the second anniversary of the King Soopers shooting, in which ten people were killed.
Continued Delays For Marshall Fire Investigation
It could be another one to two months before the investigation into the Marshall Mesa Fire is completed, and its results made public. It has been nearly fifteen months since that disaster. Speaking at a public forum recently, Boulder County Sheriff Curtis Johnson said that every time it looks like investigators are done, they find a new area to look into.
More than a thousand homes and commercial structures were destroyed, and two people died, in the December 30, 2021 wildfire. With damages at more than two billion dollars, it is the most destructive fire in Colorado history.
Meanwhile, a state-sponsored drilling project is underway to determine the extent of sub-surface coal fires burning in abandoned mines beneath the Marshall Mesa area. Those underground fires have burned for decades, according to a spokesperson with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. The Daily Camera says the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety is developing a 3-D model of the area, and a mitigation strategy. The properties involved are southeast of Marshall Road and Colo. 93.
Colorado Surpasses 15,000 COVID-19 Deaths
More than 15,000 Coloradans have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s twice as many Coloradans who died in the 1918 flu pandemic, and makes it the single deadliest event in State history. The first reported COVID death was in March 2020 in Colorado Springs. When the statistics are adjusted for age and comorbidities, Colorado had the fifth most COVID deaths nationwide.
Boulder Releases 2022 Drinking Water Quality Reports
Water straight from the tap in Boulder homes met Federal and State standards in 2022. That’s according to an annual report released by the city at the end of last week. The report also said that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has the city on a less frequent monitoring schedule for lead and copper. Testing for those metals now occurs every three years, because the city has had low levels over time. Boulder was, however, cited for violating the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s backflow prevention rule. The report said it was not an emergency and did not pose a threat to public health. Backflow is when water flows in reverse, from properties back into the city’s drinking water system, creating potential health problems.
Denver Bike Rebates Available Today
A new round of applications for e-bike rebate vouchers begins in Denver today. Income-qualified residents, and those with a disability, can save up to $300 dollars on a standard e-bike or up to $500 dollars on a cargo e-bike. Eligible Denver residents can apply starting at 11 AM at denverclimaterebates.com. Vouchers become available every other month, and can only be used at participating bike shops.
The Denverite says that in the previous round of availability, all 860 e-bike rebates were claimed within twenty minutes.
Boulder Raising Downtown On-Street Parking Rates
In Boulder, it’s going to cost more to park a car in certain downtown areas, beginning next week. City officials say hourly rates for on-street parking in high-demand areas are going up by 50 cents. The city is also moving toward performance-based pricing, which sets different rates for on-street parking, based on demand. Rates for handicapped-accessible parking, and City of Boulder parking garages will remain the same.