Gun measures clear state House
DENVER — After four more hours of debate Monday, the Colorado House approved four gun-related measures that supporters hope will improve public safety in the state.
The measures include bills to limit gun magazines to 15 rounds, a ban on concealed-carry guns on college campuses, requiring background checks on all gun sales, and making gun buyers, rather than the state, pay for those checks.
The measures passed largely along party lines, with a handful of Democrats opposing each.
Republicans implored Democrats not to go down the road of imposing limits on people’s gun rights, saying it’s a dangerous place to travel.
“Our constituents say, just do something, to make them feel better about the pain and the anguish we all feel (over the recent gun shootings),” said Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson. “But changing the law will not ever change the heart of men. Every time we pass a law down here to take away freedoms and rights from law-abiding citizens, we all lose a little bit of freedom.”
Democrats, however, say no one is taking anyone’s rights away. No right is absolute, they said, calling the measures “reasonable regulations” of constitutional rights.
House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, said no single law can fix the problem. Even a package of them won’t fix the problem completely, he said.
“It is a reasonable way to look at the Second Amendment with responsible regulation to help protect people’s lives,” he said of the bills. “It’s not going to solve all the violence in our communities. This is one piece of a comprehensive package. No legislation will solve all the violence, but this is a step in the right direction.”
Lawmakers are considering several other measures that don’t impact weapon ownership, including addressing mental health issues as it relates to gun violence.
The four measures head to the Senate for more debate.