5 gun bills advance; two others are killed
DENVER — Colorado senators made some changes to a few of the controversial gun bills before them Friday, killing two of them and giving a preliminary nod to five others.
With no debate, Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, and Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, asked that their bills be postponed until after the Legislature is no longer in session, effectively killing them.
Those measures would have banned conceal-carry weapons on college campuses and placed a strict liability on owning military-style assault weapons.
The remaining bills, which require a final Senate vote that could come as early as Monday, include:
■ HB1224: Limiting large-capacity magazines to 15 rounds.
■ HB1228: Requiring firearm purchasers to pay the cost of their own background checks.
■ HB1229: Requiring background checks on all firearms purchases.
■ SB195: Requiring some in-person training for concealed-carry permit classes.
■ SB197: Banning domestic violence offenders from possessing firearms.
Democratic leaders say they believe a vast majority of Coloradans want each measure to pass, saying they are duty-bound to do so particularly in the wake of two major mass shootings in the state and elsewhere last year.
“The world changed largely in Colorado in July with the Aurora theater shooting, but when you’ve got 20 six- and seven-year-old kindergartners that are massacred, that just seared the consciousness of this generation,” Morse said before the bills were debated. “We’re seeing huge changes in the way people view gun violence and the way we ought to be approaching it.”
Republicans, however, don’t believe that, saying the majority of Colorado voters oppose the bills.
Though a few Democrats did oppose some of the measures, it was primarily GOP senators who argued against all of the bills, saying each in their own way infringe on people’s Second Amendment rights to possess firearms.
“I’ve received thousands of emails, thousands, and they are overwhelming, let’s say, like 95 percent, 99 percent, opposed to this,” said Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud. “I, for one, commit to you that any anti-Second Amendment legislation that’s passed by this Legislature, I will do everything within my power to repeal.”