Effort To Repeal Colorado Gun Control Laws Fails
The Huffington Post
Colorado's controversial ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines larger than 15 rounds will remain law after a House Democrats killed an effort to repeal the measure Monday night.
Just last week, state Democrats also stopped a Republican attempt to repeal universal background checks on all private and online gun sales and transfers.
Both restrictions were part of a package of new gun control measures signed into law in 2013 by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).
Furious opponents hit back in the wake of the laws' passing last year. Two senators who supported the bills -- Senate President John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) and state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) -- were ousted in the state's first-ever recall election.
A third recall effort was underway against another Democrat, state Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminster), but Hudak resigned from office before a recall could take place.
The high-capacity magazine ban repeal bill sponsor, Rep. Chris Holbert (R-Douglas County), told Denver's 7News that Hickenlooper should have vetoed the magazine ban last year. "I believe it's what led to two recall elections," Holbert said.
Daniel Carey, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, complained that 2013's background check law was "unnecessary and unconstitutional" and that it "only unnecessarily burdens law-abiding citizens," according to the Associated Press.
The background check law's co-sponsor, Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), told The Huffington Post that "the vast majority of gun buyers are law-abiding people, and for them a background check is no problem. But the new law is preventing significant numbers of violent criminals and people under domestic restraining orders from buying guns. That's exactly what we intended with our new background check law, and the stats prove that it's working. It's making our neighborhoods safer, and that makes me very happy."
According to data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, there were a total of 6,198 private sale background checks from when the law went into effect in July through December, with 122 buyers denied during that period.
Though state Republicans haven't accepted the laws, Colorado voters appear to strongly support universal background check legislation. A recent Qunnipiac survey showed that 85 percent of state voters approve of the new gun law, according to a recent Quinnipiac survey.
When asked about the statewide ban on high capacity magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, voters still approve, but by a slim 49-48 margin.
Almost 400,000 people tried to buy firearms last year in Colorado as the historic new gun laws went into effect in July, The Denver Post first reported.