February 14, 2012

(Denver) – Though they agreed at the start of the 2012 session that jobs would be the dominant topic, House Republicans reverted to social “wedge” issues again today when they pushed two more gun bills on the House floor.

HB12-1064 would prohibit the state from violating the Second Amendment in the event of a “declared state of emergency,” and HB12-1092 would lift any training or license requirement for carrying concealed handguns in public. Both bills passed on second-reading voice votes this morning.

Republicans argued with a straight face that schools would be safer with more gun-toters in attendance.

“My God, how many times do we have to sit and read another newspaper article about the effects of guns and weapons around kids?” an exasperated Rep. Roger Wilson (D-Glenwood Springs) told the House.

After spending most of the morning debating the two gun bills, Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) claimed a small victory when her amendment prohibiting concealed handguns on public school property squeaked through on a 33-30 vote.

A third Republican gun bill, HB12-1088 condoning the use of deadly force in a person’s place of business, won final passage in the House on Monday.

“I wish the House would spend more time connecting Coloradans to good jobs and less on divisive social issues,” said House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver).

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