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Club Q survivors discuss gun control legislation with Governor Polis

Posted at 12:07 AM, Jan 24, 2023

COLORADO — Survivors of the Club Q shooting spent time with Governor Jared Polis in a closed-door meeting Monday afternoon. Michael Anderson, a bartender at Club Q and survivor of the shooting, said the discussion focused on stronger gun control legislation in Colorado.

Anderson said two months after the tragedy, he and others on Club Q's executive board are trying to get the ball rolling on gun control legislation.

"It's kind of a three-stage process. It's the grieving process, it's the rebuilding process, and then it's the fighting process," Anderson said.

He said the group discussed expanding extreme risk protection orders, otherwise known as red flag laws, and cracking down on so-called ghost guns with Gov. Polis.

In his 2023 State of the State Address, Polis addressed expanding red flag laws to give district attorneys the ability to petition for an extreme risk protection order along with law enforcement and family members.

States with red flag laws
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington have statewide red flag laws in place. In Colorado, law enforcement and family members have the ability to petition a court for an order.

Right now 19 states, including Colorado, have red flag laws in place. New York gives district attorneys the ability to petition a court for an order while Vermont includes states attorneys and the Office of the Attorney General.

Anderson said discussion surrounding a statewide ban on assault rifles was met with concerns from Polis.

"He said, you know, Colorado can make certain changes to gun laws, but you know, people can drive two hours across the border to Wyoming and buy weapons very easily and bring them right back across to the state of Colorado," he said.

State assault rifle bans
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia have all passed statewide bans on semi-automatic weapons.

Eight states, including the District of Columbia, already have a statewide ban on semi-automatic weapons. Anderson said he and and others with Club Q are fighting for a federal assault rifle ban.

"Firsthand, I've seen the damage these can do and just the absolute terror when these weapons are in the wrong hands. So you know, as an executive board, we are committed to that type of reform," he said.

This comes as Colorado Democrats are preparing legislation to ban assault weapon sales. Colorado House Minority Leader Mike Lynch released a statement Monday arguing the legislation would infringe on the right to bear arms.

"We will not support any bill that undermines the freedoms of Coloradans to protect and defend their families and property," he said. "What we’ve seen and heard should worry every law-abiding gun owner in Colorado. There still hasn’t been any formerly introduced gun control bills; however, some rumored legislation appears so radical even the Governor won’t agree to these concepts publicly."

Anderson said he and others on the Club Q executive board want to work together to find a solution to protect Coloradans.

"I would say if this legislation is too extreme, then you go ahead and propose something and you bring that to the floor, and we can have a discussion on it," he said.
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