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State House Committee Approves Four Gun Control Bills

 

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Four democratic gun control bills passed the Colorado House this week and is now headed to Senate. These four bills are headed to the Senate, where they will likely be assigned to committees this week. Democrats control the Senate 20-15, so Republicans will need to peel off three Democrats to kill a measure.

“I know they’re coming, and I strongly suspect they’ll get passed,” Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, said of the bills. “But there’s still a long way to go and a lot of conversation to be had.”

The Bills which have received final passage:

  • A limit on gun magazines to 15 rounds (34-31)
  • PASSED with all Republicans and three Democrats voting against: Leroy Garcia of Pueblo, Steve Lebsock of Thornton, Ed Vigil of Fort Garland

  • Ban on concealed weapons, even with permit, on school campuses (34-31)
  • PASSED with all Republicans and three Democrats voting against: Garcia, Lebsock and Vigil

  • Fees for background checks to be covered by gun buyers (33-32)
  • PASSED with all Republicans and four Democrats voting against: Garcia, Vigil, Dave Young of Greeley and Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs

  • Requirement of background checks for all firearm transactions/transfers (36-29)
  • PASSED with all Republicans and one Democrat, Vigil, voting against

Democrats hold a 37-28 majority in the House – where 33 votes are needed for passage – but only one of the bills, the universal background check, passed with a margin close to the Democrats’ majority. In the Senate, the numbers are closer. Democrats hold a 20-15 advantage and need 18 votes for passage.


Monday’s discussion in the House, while far shorter than the 12-hour debate Friday, was distinguished by speeches that quoted “Hamlet,” invoked images of Japanese internment camps and cited the example of Mahatma Gandhi – in this case in favor of gun rights.

Republicans argued that a bill imposing fees on gun purchasers for background checks was essentially a tax. “This bill is taking advantage of a tragedy that’s out there to demonize law-abiding citizens who are exercising their Second Amendment rights, and using it as a way to generate $4 million to $5 million in increased taxes on these people,” said Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland.

Probably some of the angriest debate came around the bill to limit gun magazines to 15 rounds. McCann said high-capacity magazines had been used in numerous high-profile spree shootings, citing in particular the case of Jared Loughner, who used one to wound 13 people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and kill six others outside a Tucson grocery story in January 2011.

 
 
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