Dems Unveil Gun Control Bills

February 6, 2013

Dems are seeking to ban high capacity magazines; and create strict liability for gun manufacturers, distributors and owners

DENVER–Democratic legislators rolled out a sweeping package of gun-control measures Tuesday, setting the stage for a blistering confrontation with gun-rights advocates who said the proposals would make Colorado the most anti-gun state in the nation.

The proposed package of eight bills would ban ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds; create strict liability for manufacturers, distributors and owners of so-called assault weapons; require background checks for all buyers, and eliminate state subsidies for background checks.

The package also bans concealed-carry in most areas on college campuses and requires in-person training for concealed-carry permits.

Mental-health professionals would be able to stop a potentially dangerous patient from purchasing guns by notifying the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

“Coloradans have asked us to lead on this issue–not to stand idly by while children are being gunned down in schools and movie theaters,” said Senate President John Morse. “In response, we have created unique Colorado solutions to our unique Colorado problems.”

Morse and other Democratic sponsors unveiled the measures at a capitol press conference before a backdrop of victims’ relatives from mass shootings at Columbine High School, the Aurora theater and Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“As a civilized society, we cannot stand back and wait for another Columbine, another Aurora,” said House Speaker Mark Ferrandino. “The legislation we introduce will not bring all gun violence in Colorado to a screeching halt, but it will reduce gun violence.”

Gun-rights advocates immediately vowed to fight the measures by bringing intense pressure on the legislature, particularly wobbly Democratic lawmakers from rural and suburban districts. Democrats hold the majority in both houses.

“We’re going to go into their districts and tell gun owners, ‘This is what they’re doing to your constitutional rights,’” said Dudley Brown, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners after the press conference.

If Democrats can prevent their caucuses from splintering, the bills would end up on the desk of Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who isn’t known as a promoter of gun control despite indicating in December that he would be willing to consider restrictions.

Hickenlooper is slated to meet privately Thursday with National Rifle Association president David Keene.

“The governor supports universal background checks and is open to a discussion about magazine limits and other ideas designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown in a statement to KDVR-TV.

Brown said the governor would “study” the liability bill, the most ambitious of the package’s proposals, calling it “creative.”

State Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) had another word for it: “extreme.” By making everyone in the chain from manufacturers to buyers liable for any crimes committed with a firearm, he said, the Colorado legislature is effectively proposing an assault-weapons ban.

He said the liability bill, called the Assault Weapons Responsibility Act and scheduled to be introduced by Morse and Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver), is the equivalent of making Coors Brewing responsible for drunk-driving accidents.

“The liability bill is more extreme than the one Dianne Feinstein introduced banning assault weapons,” said Brophy, referring to the California senator. “It would put retail outlets in a position where they couldn’t sell weapons. It’s even more aggressive than what they have in New York.”

Republicans have proposed several bills to combat mass shootings, but so far have failed to win Democratic support. A bill that would have given school districts the authority to permit allow qualified staffers to carry weapons was defeated on a party-line vote in committee.

“We have Democrats killing bills that are proven to make people safer and then introducing this package of bills that won’t make anyone safer,” said Brophy. “It makes me think they care more about their extreme gun-control agenda than public safety.”

None of the eight Democratic bills had been introduced Tuesday, but they are expected to emerge in the next couple of weeks.

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7 Responses to Dems Unveil Gun Control Bills

  1. curtis41
    February 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

    The recently proposed trafficking bill is common sense legislation. So is the mental health restrictions and prosecution of felons with firearms, or buying a gun with a falsified application or straw sale. It is ludicrous to impose fines on gun manufacturers, selling a legal product, any more than it would be to fine General Motors because one of their cars was used in a hit and run, or to rob a bank. This is dumb legislation. Training requirements just to get a gun are wrong-headed. A blind man or an 85 year old woman has the constitutional right to have a gun in their home for protection. Training courses, zip codes, color or political persuasion are irrelevant for owning a firearm at home. To carry, one should at least be able to hit a pie plate 15 feet away. Many of the parts of the proposed Democrat legislation is properly states rights and soveignty issues, and not authorized at the federal level. The backlash on the opportunistic push of the left and far left to effectively disarm ordinary Americans is not good in a constitutional republic, nor should Americans ever trade self-defense, constitutional rights and personal freedom for the perceptions of staunch anti-gun politicians on public safety, or at least the guise of public safety. That was never the intention of the framers of our most important historical documents.

  2. BrightonLiberal
    February 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    The background check proposals and mental health proposals need work to ensure they don’t deny or disparage the rights of law abiding people, however, that said those proposals are sound and should be supported IMHO.
    The magazine ban, rifle ban, and liability suggestion are outlandish and should not even be considered. Federal law prohibits suing manufacturers of firearms for criminal use, and holding citizens who have had their weapons stolen liable for the crimes committed with them is ridiculous. The 1994 “assault weapon” ban didn’t stop Columbine, nor did Connecticut’s 18 year old AWB stop Adam Lanza, these types of bans do nothing to deter nor lessen these massacres. The prohibition on carrying weapons into schools by authorized CCW permit holders is another backwards thinking idea pushed by hoplophobic legislators who have a disarmament agenda. As evidenced by the disfusion of the Lone Star College incident in Texas a few days ago, an armed person on campus is a deterent to these kinds of mass attacks.
    We don’t need useless gun bans, infringements on carrying, or other nonsensical, fruitless laws that will do nothing to address the issue.
    We need common sense ideas such as universal background checks and the addition of mental health records to the background check.
    Any Colorado politician who pushes for more than that should be voted out of office.

    • February 7, 2013 at 4:05 am

      What part of “shall not be infringed” do people have trouble understanding? There is a pro-2nd Amendment rally at the State Capitol building (West steps) at noon this Friday, Feb. 8th in downtown Denver (Colfax & Broadway). Bring the family! Details at There is an impressive list of speakers and events. Show support and meet others who do.

  3. wrongheifer
    February 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    The quicker the Democrats impose their bans based on knee-jerk emotional reactions rather that factual data…The more determined I am as a law abiding US citizen to remove the fools from their ivory towers.

  4. wrongheifer
    February 8, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    By the way…please tell me how this massive bill squares with the DHS buying weapons and ammo “for personal protection”…

    It doesn’t…

  5. winterhawk
    February 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I was proud of you Colorado for standing up to the feds on marijuana laws. Now you can’t cave in on your 2nd Amendment Rights. Let your reps know you will vote them out if they start to trample on the Constitution.

  6. Rex
    February 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Talk about being emotional, I am so upset to the point that I will never vote for a democrat again! They are like wolves salivating at all the gun control bills they can push through! It just makes me sick to even think what they will do to our beloved state and country.


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