DENVER – In an interview with CBS4last week, Senate President John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) proclaimed his belief that additional background checks and a ban on high capacity magazines would do little to limit gun violence, stepping on a key message coming from supporters of gun control in his own party.
“How does a limit on high-capacity magazines reduce violence?” Morse asked rhetorically in the interview.
The Senate President’s sentiments come as a number of gun control measures are expected to be taken up in the State Legislature.
Morse’s fellow Democrat, Representative Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), is pushing a bill that would require background checks on all purchases of guns, from Craigslist sales to hunters trading guns amongst themselves. Fields is also reportedly working on a bill to limit the capacity of magazines.
Morse, for his part, would like to see much more sweeping legislation — specifically a ban on “assault weapons” — but acknowledges both the difficulty of legally defining an “assault weapon” as well as the challenge of getting such a controversial measure passed.
Gun rights supporters are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to new proposed laws, with upwards of 1000 people attending a 2nd Amendment rally at the state capitol on Saturday. That compared to a meeting of around 200 gun control supporters last week, who met at First Plymouth Church in Englewood to plan strategy and write their representatives.
President Obama is proposing similar legislation at the federal level, though much of it is unlikely to pass Congress as Republicans control the House of Representatives.
With both chambers of the Colorado Legislature controlled by Democrats, gun control legislation is more likely to happen at the state-level than federally, but even that legislation will face a tough road ahead with the Senate President already dismissing the impact of any such proposals.