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Armed police officers seen outside a King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive in Boulder after reports of shots fired on March 22. Photo by Matthew Jonas/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

Colorado lawmakers unveiled a package of legislation on Thursday in response to last month's mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, saying "we are transforming the country."

The big picture: The legislation aims to strengthen background checks and prohibit certain individuals from accessing firearms.

  • If passed, a person convicted of a violent misdemeanor would be banned from purchasing a gun for five years.
  • The so-called Charleston loophole would be eliminated to prevent a person from obtaining a firearm before a background check is completed.

In addition, the measure would overturn a court decision that prohibits local governments from approving tougher gun restrictions than those at the state level.

  • If approved, Colorado would also create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention to study additional measures to limit gun-related deaths.

Yes, but: The legislative package does not include an assault weapons ban, as lawmakers initially proposed, nor any additional resources to address mental health.

What they're saying: State Sen. Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) said the bills are the "most effective steps Colorado needs to take to save the most lives."

  • "There's no single policy we can pass that will guarantee no more lives will be taken from us," Fenberg said on Thursday. "We also know that we must continue to demand federal action on gun violence prevention. But this cannot be an excuse for inaction."
  • Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who didn't attend the an announcement of the legislation, issued a statement to Axios calling the legislation "common sense strategies ... to keep Coloradans safer and reduce violent crime."

Catch up quick: A shooting at a Boulder grocery store on March 22 that killed 10, including a police officer, is the latest in a deadly streak of mass shootings in Colorado.

  • The alleged shooter, 22-year-old Al Aliwi Alissa, faces more than 50 criminal charges, including 10 counts of first-degree murder.
  • Alissa's attorneys say he suffered from mental health issues, and in 2017, he pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

The other side: Gun rights advocates in Colorado suggested the legislation to tighten background checks is not needed and called a patchwork of local restriction unworkable.

  • "Honoring others by denying God-given rights to law-abiding citizens is never a good idea," said Taylor Rhodes, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a Second Amendment advocacy organization.

Go deeper

Updated Jul 29, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Expand chart
Data: Team USA; Cartogram: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Colorado counts 34 athletes in the Olympic Games in more than 14 sports and 23 disciplines, according to Team USA.

Why it matters: We love to cheer for our hometown heroes as they go for the gold!

By the numbers: Colorado's athlete count is the third most in the nation — behind California's 126 and Florida's 51, according to an Axios analysis.

  • The athletes self-report their hometowns.
  • In reality, dozens more Olympians live in Colorado because they train here — and the same goes for athletes from other countries, too.

Meet the athletes here:

"An embarrassment": Biden condemns Border Patrol for using horses to deter Haitian migrants

President Biden speaking from the White House on Sept. 24. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday condemned Border Patrol officers for using horses to deter Haitian immigrants from an encampment under the international bridge earlier this week but took responsibility for the actions and said an investigation is underway.

Why it matters: Photos of patrol officers charging their horses at immigrants prompted criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

Senate GOP pushes DOJ to roll back Trump oversight rule

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Republicans want the Justice Department to roll back Trump-era restrictions on congressional oversight criticized at the time as an attempt to insulate the Trump administration from Democratic investigators, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While some Republicans spoke out against the DOJ guidance at the time, it was mostly Democrats who attacked it as a constitutionally dubious effort to scuttle congressional oversight. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and the GOP is making similar arguments with Biden in the White House.