News Release|

George Brauchler

George Brauchler

Our community has suffered greatly from gun violence – from mass shootings like the Aurora theater shooting to the attack on Zack Parrish and his fellow Douglas County deputies to the recent STEM School shooting. Twenty years ago, the Columbine High School tragedy occurred only a few miles to the west of us. As the national debate swirls yet again around what can be done to prevent mass shootings and gun violence, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler is moving forward with practical measures that can — and should — be quickly implemented here in Colorado.

“We must resist getting caught up in a debate of ‘Who is right?’ instead of ‘What is right?’ Rather than getting mired down in controversial and divisive legislation, I am committed to implementing measures in my jurisdiction now using tools the legislature has already given,” Brauchler said. “In addition, there are some commonsense legislative upgrades to our existing weak gun laws that I trust will appeal to those on both sides in our divided political landscape, who are nonetheless united in preventing future gun violence in our community.”

This is what District Attorney Brauchler intends to implement:

Prevent and prosecute illegal firearm transactions. “We already have laws in Colorado focused on denying firearms to those in our neighborhoods who should not have them,” Brauchler said. “Felons, domestic violence perpetrators, the dangerously mentally ill and others are already prohibited by law from trying to purchase firearms, but a significant number of them do it anyway. Those cases do not always make it into court. I want to see gun sellers and police working together to more vigorously enforce those existing laws. We are ready, willing, and able to prosecute those cases. We just need to get the cases in our front door.”

New gun crimes investigator requested. DA Brauchler is requesting funding in his 2020 budget from the jurisdiction’s county commissioners for a criminal investigator dedicated to working with agencies on those illegal firearms transactions.

New firearms initiative. District Attorney Brauchler has assigned Assistant District Attorney Matt Maillaro, the second in command at the DA’s office, to spearhead efforts to coordinate with local law enforcement agencies, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, federal law enforcement partners, and local holders of federal firearms licenses to create an enhanced approach to the detection, investigation and prosecution of these crimes.

2020 legislation. In addition to a renewed focus on preventing and prosecuting attempted illegal firearms transactions, DA Brauchler is looking for bill sponsors to strengthen the penalties for violating current gun laws.

  • Illegal gun possession by convicted felons. “Under Colorado’s current weak laws, a convicted felon who illegally possesses a firearm can only be convicted of a low level felony, and is eligible to walk out of court with probation no matter how many times he is convicted. Even lesser penalties exist if a felon illegally attempts to purchase a firearm by lying to a seller,” Brauchler said. “The same is true for those who give firearms to someone they know cannot legally possess them. For those who illegally try to acquire firearms, or successfully acquire them, and for those who illegally provide them to others there must be the promise of prison, and that prison must be in addition to any other sentence they receive for any other crime they commit. Our gun laws need to have teeth, sharp teeth.
  • Mental health holds. District Attorney Brauchler also wants to hold the legislature to its promise to address mental illness in our community. “The legislature needs to fix our broken and ineffective 72-hour mental health hold law. Its failures do not keep us safer and do nothing to help those most in need,” he said.

DA Brauchler is committed to moving beyond intractable rhetoric. He believes that vigorously defending 2nd Amendment rights is not inconsistent with efforts to protect our community.

“There is no debate that we need to keep firearms out of the hands of people who legally should not have them. We need laws on the books that promise punishment of people who knowingly thwart those rules.” Brauchler said. “I urge those who share these beliefs to join me in implementing them.”

Constituents and stakeholders in discussing gun violence solutions are encouraged to email [email protected] with suggestions for advancing these goals.

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