(Feb. 2) – The Democratic majority on the State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee killed three Republican-sponsored bills today that would have undermined gun safety in Colorado.
HB15-1050, sponsored by Rep. Janak Joshi, R-Colorado Springs, and seven other House Republicans, would have repealed Colorado’s 2013 law closing the background check loophole for private gun sales. In fiscal year 2013-14, the law prevented 102 felons or people under a restraining order from purchasing a gun.
“As we have seen over the past year, background checks keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, mentally unstable individuals and other dangerous people,” said Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, chairwoman of the committee. “Eighty percent of Coloradans support our current background check laws. Why Rep. Joshi would want to repeal a law that is supported by 80 percent of Coloradans is beyond me.”
Also killed was HB15-1009, sponsored by Rep. Steven Humphrey, R-Severance, and five other Republicans, which would have repealed the 2013 law that set size limits on gun magazines in Colorado.
“Large-capacity magazines are designed to allow a shooter to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, sponsor of the 2013 law. “The current magazine limit is supported by law enforcement and reduces the likelihood of another devastating mass shooting.”
The first bill to die was HB15-1127, sponsored by Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs. That bill would have removed most civil liability for any owner or operator of a business that allows concealed handguns on the premises.
“I’m puzzled as to why Rep. Klingenschmitt would want to create a lower standard of liability for some people just because they let guns into their businesses,” Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, said after he voted against the bill.
The three bills, defeated on party-line 6-5 votes, were the first of five Republican-sponsored gun violence-enhancing measures on the committee’s agenda today. Still to come:
· HB15-1086, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, and eight other House Republicans, which would reduce the amount of time the Colorado Bureau of Investigation can review a transfer request for a machine gun or a destructive device, making it more difficult for law enforcement to conduct necessary background checks required under federal law.
· HB15-1049, sponsored by Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, and five other Republicans, which would allow an owner, manager or employee of a business to use deadly force against a customer for nothing more than suspicion of intent to commit a crime.
By sponsoring or cosponsoring four of the five bills, Reps. Everett, Humphrey and Lori Saine, R-Dacono, shared the dubious distinction of trying the hardest to increase gun violence and undermine public safety in Colorado.