Dns fog
58°
Dns fog
Hi 83° | Lo 61°

Colorado House passes gun-control measures

  • Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, left, talks with Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Fields sponsored a bill that would limit the size of ammunition magazines and Levy sponsored a bill dealing with students carrying concealed guns at the universities in the state. Both were being debated on the House floor on Friday.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, left, talks with Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Fields sponsored a bill that would limit the size of ammunition magazines and Levy sponsored a bill dealing with students carrying concealed guns at the universities in the state. Both were being debated on the House floor on Friday.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, center, talks with Rep. Joseph Salazar, left, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, right, D-Denver,  about her bill on limiting the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, center, talks with Rep. Joseph Salazar, left, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, right, D-Denver, about her bill on limiting the size of ammunition magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • House members gather in their Chamber at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, where a long emotional debate about guns and bills dealing with them is expected to last the entire day. Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    House members gather in their Chamber at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, where a long emotional debate about guns and bills dealing with them is expected to last the entire day. Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Rep. Frank McNaulty, R-Highlands Ranch, speaks against a bill that would limit the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.   Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Rep. Frank McNaulty, R-Highlands Ranch, speaks against a bill that would limit the size of ammunition magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora,  urges House members to pass her bill on limiting the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, urges House members to pass her bill on limiting the size of ammunition magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Rep. Dickey Lee Hullingworst, center, D-Boulder, shows House Minority Leader Mark Waller, left, R-Colorado Springs and Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, her whistle as the debate over gun control bills goes on at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Rep. Dickey Lee Hullingworst, center, D-Boulder, shows House Minority Leader Mark Waller, left, R-Colorado Springs and Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, her whistle as the debate over gun control bills goes on at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Rep. Bob Gardner, R-El Paso County,  speaks against a bill that would limit the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.  Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Rep. Bob Gardner, R-El Paso County, speaks against a bill that would limit the size of ammunition magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, left, talks with Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Fields sponsored a bill that would limit the size of ammunition magazines and Levy sponsored a bill dealing with students carrying concealed guns at the universities in the state. Both were being debated on the House floor on Friday.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, center, talks with Rep. Joseph Salazar, left, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, right, D-Denver,  about her bill on limiting the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • House members gather in their Chamber at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, where a long emotional debate about guns and bills dealing with them is expected to last the entire day. Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Rep. Frank McNaulty, R-Highlands Ranch, speaks against a bill that would limit the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.   Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora,  urges House members to pass her bill on limiting the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Rep. Dickey Lee Hullingworst, center, D-Boulder, shows House Minority Leader Mark Waller, left, R-Colorado Springs and Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, her whistle as the debate over gun control bills goes on at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Rep. Bob Gardner, R-El Paso County,  speaks against a bill that would limit the size of ammunition  magazines at the Capitol in Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.  Kicking off a long, emotional debate about guns, Colorado lawmakers clashed Friday over setting limits on the size of ammunition magazines, a proposal in a package of Democratic bills responding to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

New ammunition limits and universal background checks passed the Colorado House yesterday, during a second day of emotional debates that has drawn attention from the White House as lawmakers try to address recent mass shootings.

The bills were among four the Democratic-controlled House passed amid strong resistance from Republicans, who were joined by a few Democrats to make some of the votes close.

The proposed ammunition restrictions place a limit of 15 rounds for firearms, and eight for shotguns. Three Democrats joined all Republicans voting no on the bill, but the proposal passed 34-31.

“Enough is enough. I’m sick and tired of bloodshed,” said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, a sponsor of the bill and representative of the district where the shootings at an Aurora theater happened last summer. Fields’s son was also fatally shot in 2005.

Republicans argued that the proposals restrict Second Amendment rights and won’t prevent mass shootings like the ones in Aurora and a Connecticut elementary school.

“This bill will never keep evil people from doing evil things,” said Republican Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg.

The House also approved a bill requiring background checks on all gun purchases, including those between private sellers and firearms bought online.

Other proposals would ban concealed firearms at colleges and stadiums, and another requires that gun purchasers pay for their own background checks. Democrats eked out the closest vote on the background check measure, which passed on a 33-32 vote.

Democratic Rep. Ed Vigil, who represents rural southern Colorado, voted against the bills, saying his decision was rooted in the state’s rugged history. “This is part of our heritage. This is part of what it took to settle this land. I cannot turn my back on that,” he said.

But even though a few Democrats joined Republicans in voting no for the bills, the Democrats’ 37-28 advantage in the House gave them enough leeway.

The Senate still needs to consider the proposals. Democrats will need to be more unified in their support there because their advantage is only 20-15. That means Republicans need only three Democrats to join them to defeat the bills.

House lawmakers began debating the bills Friday. Lawmakers debated for 12 hours before giving initial approval to the bills, setting up the final recorded votes yesterday. During the debate Friday, Vice President Joe Biden called four Democrats, including two in moderate districts, to solidify support for the measures.

Democratic Rep. Dominick Moreno, who represents a district in suburban Denver, was among the four lawmakers. He said Biden “emphasized the importance of Colorado’s role in shaping national policy around this issue.”

Castle Rock Republican Rep. Carole Murray brought up Biden’s calls during yesterday’s debate, saying she didn’t appreciate “East Coast politicians” trying to influence Colorado legislators.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper supports the expanded background checks, and thinks gun buyers should pay for them. He also said he may support the ammunition limits, if lawmakers agree to a number between 15 and 20. He said he hasn’t decided whether to support banning concealed firearms on campuses and stadiums.

Republicans say students should have the right to defend themselves.

“Do not disarm our young adults in general and our young women in particular on our college campuses in the name of a gun-free zone,” Republican Rep. Jim Wilson said.

The gun debate highlights a fundamental philosophical difference between many Democrats and Republicans.

“I resent the implication that unless we all arm ourselves we will not be adequately protected,” said Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, the Democrats’ leader in the House.

Republican Rep. Christ Holbert became emotional while explaining his opposition to the bills. He said he understood Fields cares about the bills, because of her district and because her son was shot and killed in 2005.

“But I care passionately about the United States Constitution and the constitution of this state, and the oath that we have taken,” Holbert said.

Why doesn’t the violence end? In part it’s because legislators keep repeating what hasn’t worked. Recent tragedies all occurred in locations with some of the toughest gun laws -more evidence that gun control laws don’t work. To add to the problem, now we have the ability to make operational weapons on three-dimensional printers in anybody’s house-anywhere. There is no law that has been passed or can be passed that could stop that activity. “Gun control laws” are now moot. The fallacy that gun control laws can be effective arise in part from the crazy A belief that somehow a law-abiding citizen with a weapon is more of a threat then criminals rapists and murderers. Where does it silly assertion come from? Who would want you to believe something so illogical? Why would they want you to believe such an absurd concept? There is much that we can do to turn the tide on violence in our country. However, the first thing we need to do is to stop repeating what doesn’t work. Stop trying to criminalize law-abiding citizens and do a more effective job of isolating violent criminals, rapists, and murderers.

Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.