A state that has suffered through shootings at a movie theater and a high school is moving closer to stricter gun controls.
The Colorado House of Representatives passed legislation requiring background checks on private gun sales and placing limits on ammunition magazines. Both measures are similar to federal legislation that President Obama is pushing for.
“It makes no difference to public safety if there are 10 rounds in a magazine, whether there are 15 rounds in a magazine or whether there are 30 rounds,” said State Representative Jared Wright, a Republican from Fruita.
Republicans also sharply criticized the background check proposal. Sales of antique guns and gifts of guns between immediate family members would be exempt under the measure.
Those buying guns from federally licensed gun dealers must already undergo a background check in Colorado, as they do in every other state under federal law.
“All this bill does is make us law-abiding citizens go through another hoop,” said State Representative Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican from Sterling. “It doesn’t stop criminals, those that can’t get background checks, those that are felons, from breaking into my house and stealing my guns. Doesn’t stop them from meeting a guy down the street and buying a gun there.”
Even if the Colorado legislature passes all four gun bills that dominated last week’s session, Colorado still would not be among the states with the “strictest” gun laws.
Those would be California, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
It would, however, be stricter than other states in the Mountain West.
Colorado Democratic lawmakers have proposed bills that limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds; repeal a law allowing people with concealed-carry permits to have firearms on college or university campuses; require background checks for all gun transactions; and impose a fee on gun purchases to cover the state’s costs for background checks.
Related coverage from Denver Post:
- Feb 15:
- Gun restrictions pass first test in Colorado House
- Colorado House gives first OK to bill banning concealed weapons on campus
- Joe Biden calls four Colorado Democrats on gun bills, GOP smells a rat
- Colorado House clears requiring gun buyers to pay for background checks
- Background checks for private gun sales in Colorado gets first-round approval in House
- High-capacity ammo bill, passes voice vote in Colorado House