Dems derail Brophy bill to protect homeowners

State Senator Greg Brophy has been stabbed in his own home, so to speak. Despite the logic, and indeed inalienable right to properly and effectively defend themselves Democrats stopped this needed legislation.

A Republican effort that would have reinforced Coloradans’ ability to defend their families against home intruders hit a dead end today in a Senate committee.

Assistant Senate GOP leader Greg Brophy, R-Wray, presented Senate Bill 74 before the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs, calling it a matter of “statewide concern.”

SB 74 would prohibit local governments from passing any law or regulation that requires a person to store their lawfully-owned firearms in a way that renders them inoperable. The Democrat-controlled committee voted to postpone the bill indefinitely, effectively killing it.

Brophy said the bill addresses and recognizes the landmark United States Supreme Court decision made last summer in the District of Columbia v. Heller case.  The Heller decision held that gun ownership is an individual right and that any government in the U.S. cannot put individuals in the position where they would be inadequately prepared to defend themselves against home invasion.

“We need to pass the ban on safe-storage laws in Colorado,” Brophy said in the committee. “I think the Heller case raised this issue to the national spotlight and brought it forward so that everybody is aware of it.”

Research Director of the Independence Institute Dave Kopel, left, tesifies in favor of Sen. Greg Brophy’s Senate Bill 74.

“This would save the citizens of Colorado the trouble of being forced to go the courts and have the courts say, ‘yes indeed the Supreme Court has already ruled on this,'” Brophy said.

Currently, the cities of Denver and Boulder have so-called “safe-storage” laws that require guns be disassembled or secured with a trigger lock while stored in private homes.

In his testimony in favor of the bill, renowned Second Amendment expert and constitutional lawyer Dave Kopel, who is research director at the Golden-based think tank the Independence Institute, offered evidence showing that cities with safe-storage laws actually have higher rates of home intrusion and violence because criminals are all too aware that homeowners are unable to defend themselves.

“Law-abiding gunowners in Denver and the public in general continue to be in danger due to unreasonable laws that prevent families from teaching gun safety in their own homes and make it way too difficult for crime victims in Denver to be able to protect themselves,” Kopel said after the bill was killed.

While ruling Democrats offered few insights to their opposition to the bill, Fort Collins Democrat Bob Bacon rasied concerns about second-guessing local-government policies on the issue of gun ownership.

Brophy countered that such concerns reflect misplaced priorities.

“They’re giving City Hall the right to preempt your own right to defend yourself and your family,” Brophy said. “And I think that’s just wrong.”

Assistant Senate Republican Leader Greg Brophy, of Wray, sits in disappointment after his bill, which would have given homeowners more power to defend themselves, was killed in a Democrat-controlled committee.


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