By: Peter Roper

May 26, 2018

Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, where she urged lawmakers to not recall her bill from last session that required background checks on private gun sales. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Pueblo Indivisible wants to start a community discussion about gun violence and what steps could be taken to lower the danger of such a shooting happening here.

The group is hosting a forum on May 31 at the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library. The 6:30 p.m. program is free and open to the public.

Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, the current chief of Mental Health Colorado. His own family has been touched by suicide.

State Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora. Her college-age son was shot to death in 2005.

Patricia O’Brien, of the Pueblo Human Relations Commission.

Rita Marquez, of the Pueblo chapter of Moms Demand Action. That organization has been lobbying for limits on semi-automatic rifles and other gun-control measures nationally.

Kerry Kramer, Pueblo Indivisible spokeswoman, said the program is non-partisan, although there isn’t a gun-rights advocate among the speakers.

“We’re not trying to polarize people,” she said. “We want to take a look at the problem of gun violence in our community and look to see what data exists. There was a drive-by shooting not long ago in my neighborhood, so the problem has become pervasive.”

Andrew Romanoff – By: David Zalubowski

Kramer noted there was some bipartisan support for a “red-flag” law this year in the General Assembly, although it ultimately was blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate. That bill would have let police red-flag a person suffering from mental issues and temporarily confiscate any firearms in their possession.

Denver has long had a prohibition on the sale and possession of semi-automatic rifles, a ban that has withstood court challenges.

Boulder’s city council recently outlawed the sale and possession of assault rifles, a category of weapons that includes the popular AR-15 semi-automatic rifles that have been used in many shootings.

Kerry said the Pueblo Indivisible group isn’t offering an agenda.

She said, “We need to find out what is happening in our own community first: see what the dangers are and see if we can minimize them.”

Article originally appeared in the Pueblo Chieftain.