(Feb. 21) – Democrats on the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee have defeated three Republican bills that would have increased the prevalence and severity of gun violence in Colorado.
Capping a hearing that lasted more than nine hours, the committee voted down HB18-1015, a bill by Reps. Stephen Humphrey, R-Eaton, and Lori Saine, R-Firestone, to repeal Colorado’s 15-round capacity limit for gun magazines and allow the sale or other transfer of high-capacity magazines like the 100-round drum used by the shooter in the 2012 Aurora theater massacre.
Tom Sullivan, the father of one of the 12 people killed in that attack, displayed police photos of the scene inside the theater and asked the sponsors if they had the courage to review the district attorney’s video showing the carnage wrought by such firepower.
“July 20, 2012, was a before-and-after moment for my city,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora. “After what we’ve heard from Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan, I think that alone ought to drive a 9-0 vote against this bill.”
“Ultimately it’s criminals who are taking advantage of large-capacity magazines, and I don’t know why we would want to arm them with more firing power,” Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder, told the committee.
“I think our limit of 15 rounds is reasonable,” said Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, D-Adams County. “I didn’t hear tonight how it was justified to go beyond that limit.”
The second bill to be defeated tonight was HB18-1074, the perennial “stand your ground” bill by Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, granting immunity to workers who shoot people who enter a place of business on the mere suspicion that the intruder – or is it the customer? – poses a threat.
Earlier, the State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee defeated HB18-1037, sponsored by Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, which would have allowed teachers with nothing more than a concealed carry permit to carry firearms in Colorado schools.
All three bills went down on identical 6-3 party-line votes.