It was an honor to be recognized by The Colorado Education Association as one of their 2023 Public Education Champions for safety. I was proud to be a prime sponsor of SB23-169 which increased the legal purchasing age of a firearm to 21, with limited exceptions to make our kids safer.
I’m the Majority Leader for the Colorado House of Representatives, but I’m also a mom and a survivor of domestic abuse and gun violence. When I was in my late teens, I survived a relationship where my partner would use a gun to threaten and intimidate me. It took every ounce of courage in me, but I finally spoke up and safely escaped with my son. Although my story happened many years ago, when you’re touched by gun violence, you carry that fear and trauma for the rest of your life.
Unfortunately, my experience with gun violence is not unique in Colorado.
One study found that 17% of people incarcerated for firearm crimes would not have been allowed to buy a gun if their state had raised the minimum age of purchase of a handgun to 21 years old. States that increased the age of purchase to 21 saw a 9% decline in rates of suicide from 18-20-year old's.
I am honored to receive this recognition and will continue to advocate for our students in and out of the Capitol every day.