Colorado House Set to Approve Gun Control Package

February 18, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden called a handful of House Democrats on Friday to urge approval of the gun control measures

DENVER–Colorado House Democrats are poised to pass sweeping gun-control legislation Monday after lobbying by Vice President Joe Biden and despite warnings that the bills could cost the state hundreds of jobs.

The House is scheduled to begin debate at 10 a.m. Monday on four Democrat-sponsored bills to tighten the state’s firearms laws. Each of the bills won preliminary approval on voice votes Friday after an emotional and contentious all-day floor session.

As debate was raging, Biden called a handful of House Democrats from swing districts and urged them to approve the four bills. The vice-president was on a ski vacation in Aspen.

“I was totally surprised,” state Rep. Tony Exum (D-Colorado Springs told Fox affiliate KDVR-TV. “He just said he’s watching us and asked if we had a chance to move these bills forward and said what an important signal it would send to the country if we do.”

Republicans argued that the bills would have no impact on gun violence while harming the economy by prompting gun manufacturers to leave the state. Two ammunition companies, Magpul Industries and Alfred Manufacturing, indicated Friday that they would relocate if the bill limiting magazines to 15 rounds becomes law.

“While it’s not going to have an impact on public safety, it’s going to have a significant impact on Colorado’s economy,” said House Minority Leader Mark Waller. “We’re going to put 700 Colorado working families livelihoods in jeopardy on a hunch, on a guess, nothing more than a guess, that this bill is going to have an impact on public safety.”

The House and the Senate, which both enjoy five-seat Democratic majorities, are expected to approve the four bills. In addition to limiting magazine rounds, the bills would ban concealed-carry permit holders from entering buildings on college campuses; mandate universal background checks on all firearms sales and transfers, and require gun buyers to pay for their own criminal background checks.

Democrats approved an amendment to the ammunition bill that would exempt companies that manufacture magazine clips from the 15-round limit, noting that those firms produce ammunition for law enforcement and the military as well as private citizens.

Republicans blasted the exemption, saying it sends a message to manufacturers that “we want your money but we don’t want your product in this state,” said state Rep. Carole Murray (R-Castle Rock).

“If you think these magazines are a bad thing, the idea that you would vote for an amendment that allows them to be manufactured in our state because we’re going to make some money, is nothing less than hypocritical,” said state Rep. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs). “Is this about public safety or is this about appearances?”

State Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) insisted that the amendment was a reasonable accommodation for businesses.

“I want our government to have access to high capacity clips. I want them to have the type of weaponry that’s needed to defend our country,” said Fields. “So it’s not being hypocritical. It’s about the safety of our nation.”

Whether Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign the bill is unclear, but he said Thursday during a press conference that he supports several bills under consideration, including those mandating universal background checks, restricting ammunition magazines and requiring gun buyers to cover the cost of   their own background checks.

“I’m not sure it [the package of gun bills] is anti-guns,” said Hickenlooper. “It’s trying to make sure that our community is safer.”

The fracas over gun-control bills is far from over. Another four House bills are still waiting to be heard in committee.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

11 Responses to Colorado House Set to Approve Gun Control Package

  1. BMac
    February 18, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I think it is now official: Colorado is becoming California Lite. What happened to our sensible, conservative, western ideas? I guess it is time to start voting with my feet by finding a job in Texas or Utah, and then moving there. If this really is the direction this state is headed, I want no part of it. I always thought we were better than NM and CA, but that influx of CA people is starting to take its toll on this state.

  2. wrongheifer
    February 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I am ashamed of our ‘democratic leaders’…Americans are against tinkering with our Second Amendment rights. This shows me the only sane thing to do is Remove the Democrats from the Governorship downward.

    If you think for one second anyone is ‘safer’….you are a fool, Hickenlooper, Morse, Exum, Fields, Degette, Pearlmutter, Polis…Time to take our State of Colorado back to RED!

  3. Donna Jean
    February 18, 2013 at 9:24 am

    No more vacations in Colorado! I will not spend one thin dime in a state that does not support my second amendment rights! I will fly my kids and grandkids to see me–and I will buy the tickets in airlines that are not based in this state! No more!

    • BMac
      February 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Donna Jean,
      I don’t want to make life harder on honest people in Colorado, but it is obvious that only money talks around here (see the amendment where the companies that manufacture large magazines are exempt, meaning the politicians care about the money, not the principle), so I applaud your desire to boycott this state. I think you are onto something, and this needs to become a national issue: gun owners threaten to boycott states that enact laws that infringe on an honest citizen’s right to bear arms. Maybe that will get some attention.

  4. February 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Re-call Election go to this web site click on house reps or senate. Then click on the name of your district person, if they are a yes vote Dem them recall them. you olny need 1/4 of there vote number signature for a recall. http:/

  5. February 18, 2013 at 9:36 am

    It’s not there vote to make it should be our’s. 700 family’s out of work, and they care about our children? So what happens to the children of the 700 jobless family’s.

  6. Joseph Reston
    February 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

    This is great:

    “Democrats approved an amendment to the ammunition bill that would exempt companies that manufacture magazine clips from the 15-round limit”

    In other words, we think banning these evil and massive-capacity magazines as long as it doesn’t cost us anything. If these things are so damned evil, why do you want to allow them at all? What a bunch of liberal-elitist hypocrites!

    Just like “Mr. Environment” Al Gore. He thinks we should all walk or ride bikes to keep carbon emissions down. But he jets around and rides around in a limo. He probably passes more carbon as flatulence than my car does as exhaust.

    So typical!

  7. Calvin Dodge
    February 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I hope this will serve as an object lesson to the public. No matter what they pretend, the Democrat party is the party of gun-grabbers. The “safety” issue is BS, as proven by states like Massachusetts (where gun violence jumped after stricter gun controls were enacted).

  8. February 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I have e:mailed many different representatives on these issues. I believe strongly that limitations on magazines will not make a difference. These new laws will have NO effect on gun violence. When will they realize that it is not the weapon that is the problem. It is not the Ammunition that is the problem. It is not the magazine that is the problem. It is those that seek to do people harm. The effort should be to zero in on those that seek to commit crimes and create their own private shooting galleries. Do not fear inanimate objects and do not punish the Law Abiding Citizens of Colorado.


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