GOP bills would overturn gun laws passed last year
DENVER — Nine gun-related bills have been introduced into the Colorado Legislature so far, only one of which is expected to have any chance of passing.
That’s because that single measure, HB1166, was introduced by Democrats.
All of the other measures are being pushed by Republicans who don’t have a majority in either chamber of the Legislature, and most of them would undo what Democrats approved last year.
Those measures include bills to repeal universal background checks for all gun sales and reversing a new law limiting to 15 the rounds that can be in gun magazines.
Other bills would allow concealed carry weapons on school grounds, add gun transfers to step-children of gun owners without a background check and a bill to bar the governor from limiting gun sales during times of emergencies.
Only two of the measures have been scheduled for hearings: HB1041, which would eliminate concealed-carry permits, and SB94, which would get rid of last year’s universal background checks and the law that requires gun owners to pay for them.
The House bill will be heard by the House Judiciary committee on Thursday, while SB94 will be reviewed Feb. 3 by the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. Rep. Jared Wright, R-Fruita, is the House sponsor of both.
Another measure, HB1151 to repeal the magazine limit, has 18 co-sponsors in the 35-member Senate, which would give it enough votes to pass if it gets that far. One Democrat, Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, joined the 17 other Republicans in support. She was one of two Democrats in the Senate who opposed the law last year.
“With 18 Senate co-sponsors, a majority of Colorado residents are represented by this bipartisan repeal effort,” said Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker, who introduced the bill. “I hope the Democrats in the House will listen to all 45 sponsors and the voice of our constituents and repeal this ineffectual law.”
The measure has 27 of the 28 Republicans in the House, but no Democrats. The missing Republican is Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, even though she and two Democrats, Reps. Ed Vigil, D-Fort Garland, and Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, also opposed the new magazine limit law.
The bill introduced by the two Democrats, Tochtrop and Vigil, would allow people who have conceal-carry permits to have them renewed in the jurisdiction in which they live, own a second home or operate a business.
Current law requires conceal-carry permit holders to renew those licenses with the sheriff from whom they originally obtained it.
Finally, HB1097 would create a sales tax holiday on gun purchases the first Friday and Saturday of August this year and for the next two years.
The exemption would apply to all weapons, ammunition and firearm accessories.
The bill also allows local governments to approve their own sales tax exemptions for those days.