New gun control laws pass Colorado Senate

 Colorado State Senator Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, and her colleagues, vote yes on one of several gun control bills before the Colorado Legislature, at the State Capitol, in Denver, Monday March 11, 2013. Colorado Democrats are on the cusp of advancing gun-control proposals in a state balancing a history of heartbreaking shootings with a Western heritage where gun ownership is treasured by many. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Colorado State Senator Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, and her colleagues, vote yes on one of several gun control bills before the Colorado Legislature, at the State Capitol, in Denver, Monday March 11, 2013. Colorado Democrats are on the cusp of advancing gun-control proposals in a state balancing a history of heartbreaking shootings with a Western heritage where gun ownership is treasured by many. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

A gun control package pushed by Colorado Democrats cleared the state Senate on Monday, as sponsors described it as a needed response to Colorado’s blood-soaked history of mass shootings.

One Democrat after another rose Monday to talk about restricting gun rights after last July’s shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater. The vote came on the eve of an expected plea by the alleged gunman, James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.

The measures approved by the Senate included a limit on the kinds of high-capacity ammunition magazines Holmes is accused of using in the theater shooting. Other measures included expanded background checks on private gun sales and a new ban on gun ownership for people facing domestic violence charges.

Republicans argued in vain that the gun controls would not have prevented the theater shooting, nor the school massacre last December in Newtown, Conn. Some cited the 1999 Columbine High School shootings outside Denver.

Democrats stood firm.

“We can’t get back the kids we lost, but can refuse to send them more,” argued Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver.

The Democratic gun control package in Colorado is being watched nationally to see how a politically moderate state with a gun-loving past responds to the recent shootings in suburban Denver and in Connecticut.

Only one of the five bills heads to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper to be signed into law. The remaining four must return to the House for more debate, including the ammunition magazine limit and the domestic violence bill. The House is under Democratic control and will likely approve the measures.

Hickenlooper has said he supports the one bill awaiting his signature, a revived fee for people seeking background checks by gun purchasers. Hickenlooper has also called for expanded background checks and has said he’d sign the magazine limit if lawmakers get it to him.

Republicans tried in vain to stop parts of the gun control package. They argued longest against the magazine ammunition limit.

“It’s not going to work, and I hate to say that,” concluded Sen. Mark Scheffel, R-Parker. “What it will do is infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

However, Republicans only succeeded in picking off two of the three Democratic defectors they needed to defeat the ammunition limit. They warned that the gun controls are feel-good measures that won’t make Colorado safer.

“Which of these bills we’ve voted on today would have prevented these tragedies?” asked Sen. Owen Hill, R-Parker.

Democrats insisted that lawmakers have no excuse after those mass shootings not to tighten gun restrictions.

“If we fail to do a common-sense measure … then shame on us,” said Senate Democratic Leader Morgan Carroll, whose district includes the Aurora movie theater.

Democratic Senate President John Morse said Monday he was proud that his caucus was promoting measures to reduce gun violence.

“We will make a difference and increase gun safety in Colorado and decrease gun violence,” Morse said.

The remaining gun bill headed to the House requires increased training for a concealed-weapons permit. That measure has had support from both parties and is thought likely to clear the House.

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Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt .

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4 Responses to "New gun control laws pass Colorado Senate"

  1. Tom  March 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    What a sham. Typical Libs though, passing laws and measures that will have zero impact on crime or violence. It’s scary what a bunch of organized uneducated idiots can do with a little power. It’s this kind of thing that actually scares people and causes the buying and hoarding of guns and ammo, not to mention the anti government movement. People have lost confidence in their government to do the right thing. Colorado will lose jobs and revenue because of these idiotic measures and become a welfare state like most of the other democrat controlled states and cities. In past years my friends and family have spent thousands of dollars on vacations and hunting trips in Colorado. That ends today. I literally shake my head every time I think about how stupid these lawmakers are when they played on emotions and based their decisions on no real facts. Kind of like Obamacare got passed with no one reading it, and now everybody is paying dearly for that. Colorado, you suck, and I hope you go broke. When your violent crime and murder rates begin to soar, don’t call me. I’ll be enjoying my vacation and spending my money anywhere but Colorado. And drinking a 44 ounce soda, which has also been outlawed by libtards like Mayor Bloomberg of new York. Another place strict gun control has been working so well. NOT.

  2. Brandon Stokes  March 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    This a lesson of what can happen to a once great state that let liberals take over. I can tell you that my hunting and recreational dollars won’t be spent in the state of Colorado until common sense prevails, if ever. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that NONE of these measures would of stopped any of the above mentioned mass killings. Legislators’ time would of been better spent looking at the root cause of the problem: a major underfunding of mental health and systems ensuring these people cannot pass background checks. Evil people DO NOT obey laws. The only thing this legislature has accomplished is: nobody is safer, half the state is pissed about losing their individual freedom, wasted time that could of been better spent on REAL solutions, and regular people who could now be considered felons. Way to go Colorado, you should all be proud!

  3. Bobby  March 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    These new gun laws make no “common-sense” as Colorado has failed to enforce the background check laws that currently exist on the books.

  4. Wayne  March 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Your absolutely right about taking your business elsewhere. I spend thousands of dollars every year in Colorado during ski season but no more. I will be going to Utah to do my skiing. I will also look for another place to elk hunt. You reap what you sew Colorado and I’m sure my fellow colleagues will be doing the same. It’s truly a shame to see a few tree hugging whiny liberals take over your state and what a beautiful state it is.

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