House Approves Gun Safety Package

(April 22) – The final parts of the Colorado legislature’s 2013 gun safety package won House approval today when it passed bills to keep firearms out of the hands of people with domestic violence convictions or court restraining orders, and to require in-person training courses for concealed carry handgun permits.

The domestic violence bill is SB13-197, sponsored in the House by Reps. Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora). It passed the House today on a 36-28 party-line vote.

“This bill will allow the intimate partners and family members of domestic abusers to breathe a little easier,” Rep. McCann said. “It will save lives.”

SB13-195, sponsored in the House by Rep. Jenise May (D-Aurora), requires that at least some part of the mandatory training course for a concealed carry permit be performed in person with a certified instructor, ending online-only courses. It passed on a bipartisan 40-24 vote

“This bill will make sure that people with concealed carry permits really are able to demonstrate proficiency in the use of handguns,” Rep. May said.

Because SB13-197 was amended in the House, it will have to go back to the Senate for concurrence. If concurrence is achieved, the 69th General Assembly will have approved five bills to increase gun safety in Colorado. Gov. John Hickenlooper has already signed the other three measures: closing the background check loophole for private firearms sales in Colorado; ending the state subsidy for background checks; and limiting the capacity of magazines transferred in the state.

“We have made great progress this session on measures to reduce the gun violence that is ravaging our neighborhoods,” said Rep. Fields, who is a prime sponsor of three of the five bills. “And we’ve done it while remaining respectful to the Second Amendment.”

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