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Moms group pushes for gun reform in protest at Colorado state Capitol

Here 4 the Kids staged a sit-in Monday with the goal of an executive order to ban guns in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis said that would be unconstitutional.

DENVER — Hundreds of women from across the U.S. pushed for gun reform at the Colorado state Capitol on Monday and planned an all-day sit-in with the goal of persuading the governor to sign an executive order banning firearms in the state.

Here 4 the Kids planned the sit-in at the state Capitol and intends to return every day until their demands are met. They plan to ask that Gov. Jared Polis sign their drafted executive order to ban guns and implement a statewide buyback program.

Polis released a statement Monday that said he shares their concerns over public safety but that his staff met with the organizers and expressed concerns the group's requests were either unconstitutional or require legislative action.

The group's vision is grand, even daunting. How does a group of mothers think they can get the governor to take executive action on guns? Do they actually think it could work – banning guns in the Centennial State?

“Yeah, we get that a lot," Alyce Blum told 9NEWS last month. "I hear that it sounds out there. It sounds out there to me still, but I’m deep in the work, which helps, and I really believe with every fiber in my being that this is something that we can do.”

The Here 4 the Kids movement doesn’t have the backing of any big organization or corporation. It started like so many things post-pandemic – with a simple Zoom call after two staff members were shot at Denver's East High School in March.

> The video below aired on June 2:

The movement is also capturing the attention of celebrities who have spoken out on gun reform – and are now showing their support for the H4TK campaign. Supporters include comedian Chelsea Handler and actress Lake Bell, and actress Michaela Watkins was at Monday's protest.

Executive orders do not require any action by Congress or a state legislature to take effect.

Polis' full statement is below:

“The Governor shares the concerns about improving public safety including reducing gun violence, which is why the Governor is committed to making Colorado one of the top ten safest states. 

He appreciates this year's historic commonsense efforts of the legislature to help accomplish this goal including imposing tougher laws against auto theft, upgrading the state Crime Lab, and improving gun safety. 

Staff has met with the organizers and have expressed concerns that the requests being made are either unconstitutional or require legislative action. The Governor takes the weighty responsibility of executive action and the trust Coloradans placed in him to govern responsibly seriously, and will not issue an unconstitutional order that will be struck down in court simply to make a public relations statement — he will continue to focus on real solutions to help make Colorado one of the ten safest states. 

These individuals' calls to improve safety and prevent gun violence through their specific requests for an executive order banning all guns would simply be unconstitutional.” 

Other countries have banned guns after violence. New Zealand passed the Arms Act 1983 statute, which includes multiple amendments, including those passed after the 1990 Aramoana massacre and 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings. Gun ownership was criminalized and resulted in the government buying back 56,000 guns in a matter of months.

This story includes previous reporting by 9NEWS reporter Alexandra Lewis.


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