Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Fact Sheet Shows How Colorado Laws Aren’t Protecting Women from Domestic Violence
Press Release

RELEASE: Fact Sheet Shows How Colorado Laws Aren’t Protecting Women from Domestic Violence

Press Contacts

  • Tom Caiazza

New poll shows that 53 percent of likely women voters in Colorado are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports preventing stalkers and other domestic abusers from having access to firearms.

Washington, D.C. — In the United States, five women are murdered with guns every day, most often by their intimate partners. As part of Domestic Violence Awareness month, the Center for American Progress and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have released fact sheets for all 50 states providing detailed information about the scope of fatal domestic violence and the large role access to guns plays in that violence in each state.

Domestic violence fatalities are prevalent in Colorado, and they are frequently a result of gun crime: According to the FBI, 47.6 percent of women murdered by an intimate partner in Colorado from 2003 to 2012 were killed with a gun. Colorado has many of the laws recommended by CAP and the Law Center to provide adequate protection for women from domestic gun violence, including comprehensive background checks for all gun sales. But there is more that can be done to protect women in Colorado. Click to read the fact sheet.

“Elected officials who do not support common-sense gun reforms—such as background checks or prohibiting stalkers and domestic abusers from owning a gun—do so against the majority of Coloradans,” said Sandy Phillips, advocate for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and mother of daughter lost in Aurora shooting in 2012. “Women, particularly victims of domestic violence and stalking, are at a higher risk of fatal gun violence. Colorado is leading the way to protect all families from domestic violence, but there is more work left to be done, and Congress must act now to reduce violence against women.”

Colorado has a history of significant gun violence, particularly against women in domestic violence situations. In 2011, 40 percent of all homicides of females were committed by an intimate partner or family member, and nearly half of those homicides were committed with a gun. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed into law a bill that requires every gun purchaser to undergo a background check. According to a Public Policy Polling, or PPP, poll released yesterday, 51 percent of likely women voters in Colorado said that this new law makes it more likely that they would vote for Hickenlooper’s re-election, compared with only 22 percent saying it would make them less likely to support Hickenlooper’s re-election. Similarly, 53 percent of those polled said they were more likely to support a candidate that called for prohibiting those with a history of domestic violence or convicted of stalking from owning a gun. Only 11 percent of respondents said they were less likely to support such a candidate because of that stance.

“When domestic violence becomes fatal, it is often due to the availability of a gun,” said Chelsea Parsons, Director of Crime and Firearms Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “The risks faced by victims of domestic abuse are compounded by lax federal and state laws that allow dangerous abusers and stalkers to have easy access to guns. Elected leaders need to take action to better protect women from gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous abusers.”

This week, CAP launched ProtectAllWomen.org, a new website that provides state-specific information about the intersection of gun violence and domestic violence and highlights the work of partner organizations such as Americans for Responsible Solutions, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and Everytown for Gun Safety. The website supports the work of the Protect All Women Leadership Network, a national network of women leaders seeking solutions that protect women from gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous abusers and stalkers.

In June, CAP released a first-of-its-kind report analyzing the connection between gun violence and domestic and intimate partner violence and the failure of states and the federal government to take steps to curb firearm assaults within the existing legal framework.

For more information on this topic, contact Tom Caiazza at 202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org.