April 16, 2012

(Denver) – House Republicans’ loyalty to GOP — Guns Over People — prevailed today when they gave initial approval to a bill that would end Colorado’s background check for firearms purchasers.

HB12-1048, sponsored by Rep. Mark Waller (R-Colorado Springs), would make the FBI background check the only insurance that a gun buyer is a law-abiding citizen without murderous intent.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check goes beyond the FBI version by catching individuals against whom charges are pending or who are subject to restraining orders – a key indicator of the potential for domestic violence. Rep. Su Ryden (D-Aurora) said the CBI “instacheck” has prevented at least 450 at-risk individuals from buying a gun.

Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) noted that every major law enforcement organization in the state opposes Rep. Waller’s bill.

Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver), who lost a cousin this year to gun violence, rose to note the outcry over “the senseless death” of Trayvon Martin, the Florida youth whose shooting death has prompted nationwide protests. “We cannot continue to stand by as our young and primarily minority men die senseless deaths,” she told the House.

Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), who lost a son in 2005 to gun violence, said the Republican agenda made the GOP a “menace to society.”

“Already this session, the House Republicans have passed bills to allow anyone to carry a concealed handgun without a permit and to allow business owners to shoot fleeing robbers even if their own lives aren’t threatened,” Rep. Fields said. “Maximizing the number of guns is no way to stem the violence that afflicts our society.”

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