Colorado House Democrats killed a bill that would increase penalties for stealing guns because it conflicts with their criminal justice reform ethos of reducing the number of people going to jail.

That’s how the Colorado Sun fairly characterized the recent actions of Judiciary Committee Democrats, who killed House Bill 1162 that was supported by Republicans.

Democrats said they feared it would put more people of color in jail.

“We’re not going to incarcerate ourselves out of this,” said state Sen. Tom Sullivan, a Centennial Democrat and one of the legislature’s fiercest gun safety voices.

Now it’s just awkward to bring up the stolen gun used in the mass shooting last week at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade.

The bottom line is, color should never be a factor in determining penalties for any crime, lest of all stolen guns typically stolen by criminals of all colors intending to commit more crimes with the gun they stole.

Laws should never be created unequally based on race, religion, or sex. But neither should criminal penalties for serious crimes constitute a slap on the wrist because the protected classes would also go to jail for that crime.

Colorado’s current gun law is determined on the value of the gun, meaning a weapon valued at less than $300 is a petty offense that could get only 10 days in jail.

Under the bill killed by Democrats, gun theft would be a felony with an 18-month maximum sentence, and multiple arrests for stealing guns could be punished by a three-year maximum sentence.