Colorado Republicans launch gun law repeal efforts

February 3, 2015
Photo: The Colorado Capitol, view from west side with statue
The Colorado Capitol.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to repeal background checks for private gun sales, and approved a bill that allows the concealed carry of guns without a permit.

But in the Democratic-controlled House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee, the effort to repeal the background checks failed to get anywhere. In all, four of five GOP-backed gun bills were turned back by representatives. The committee has not yet voted on a fifth.

The background check requirements and a bill to repeal limits on firearm magazines were enacted in the wake of the mass shootings at an Aurora movie theater, and an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Gun rights and gun control advocates, both lobbyists and citizens, were much in evidence during the various at the Capitol. Citizen Jim Adam unsuccessfully tried to make the case in the House that criminals will always find a way to get their hands on a gun, no matter the laws.

“This is another bill that penalized the law-abiding citizen, and still doesn’t keep the gun out of the bad guy’s hands,” he said.

But Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was murdered at the Columbine High School mass shooting, testified that background checks had not infringed on gun owners with clean records.

“It seems what we’re really left with is the only right that people are arguing here is the right for someone to sell a gun to whoever they doggone really want to,” he said.

Given the fate of the five gun bills in the House on Monday, it seems likely that both bills passed by Senate will also be rejected in the House.

The seven gun bills

  • House Bill 1050 would repeal the requirement that before any person who is not a licensed gun dealer transfers possession of a firearm to a transferee, he or she must require that a criminal background check be conducted of the prospective transferee and must obtain approval of the transfer from the Colorado bureau of investigation. The House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs voted to postpone action on the bill indefinitely on a vote of 6-5.
  • House Bill 1127 would establish immunity from lawsuits for owners and operators of businesses open to the public who adopt a policy allowing persons to carry a concealed handgun on the premises. The House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs voted to postpone action on the bill indefinitely on a vote of 6-5.
  • House Bill 1009 would repeal laws prohibiting the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring identification markings to be placed upon large-capacity magazines that are manufactured in Colorado. The House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs voted to postpone action on the bill indefinitely on a vote of 6-5.
  • House Bill 1049 extends the right to use deadly force against an intruder under certain conditions to include owners, managers, and employees of businesses. The House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs has not voted yet on the bill.
  • House Bill 1086 requires that if the CBI either approves or denies an application for the transfer of a firearm, then not later than five days after receiving the request, the bureau must either produce the certificate and transfer it to the possession of the prospective transferee, or provide the prospective transferee a written explanation of why the certificate was denied and an opportunity to provide additional information relating to the reason for the refusal. he House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs voted to postpone action on the bill indefinitely on a vote of 7-4.
  • Senate Bill 086 is the companion legislation to HB 1050. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill on a 3-2 vote.
  • SB 032 would allow a person who legally possesses a handgun under state and federal law to carry a concealed handgun in Colorado. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill on a 3-2 vote.