Gun policies: Colorado Democrats propose sweeping changes

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Mark Ferrandino.
Colorado Democrat leaders proposed an array of gun control measures today that would lead to comprehensive state policy changes.

The proposed legislation addresses assault-rifle ownership, modernizing the current background check system, a high-capacity magazine ban and strengthening mental health resources.

Backed by family members of victims from the mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, Connecticut, Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino opened a press conference this morning with a statement emphasizing that "it is for you we are here today."

Lawmakers are taking a measured approach that will respect the rights of hunters and sportsmen to own firearms, he added.

"The legislation we introduce today will not bring all gun violence in Colorado to a screeching halt, but it will reduce gun violence," he said.

The proposed acts:

Assault Weapon Responsibility Act, sponsored by Senate President John Morse and Representative Beth McCann.

This act aims to effectively change the definition of what constitutes a "military-style assault weapon" in the state of Colorado. If passed, the measure will impose liability for any damage done by military-style assault weapons on manufacturers, sellers, owners and possessors of firearms, with the exception of handguns, bolt action rifles and shotguns. It will not ban any firearms.

Firearm Background Check Modernization Act, sponsored by representatives Rhonda Fields and Beth McCann and Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll.

The act calls for background checks on all gun buyers, regardless of how they acquire the guns, including purchases from private sellers. The bill would require all guns to be purchased from licensed dealers and includes provisions to enhance the "real-time sharing of mental health data" between state and federal law enforcement agencies. The act also has a provision allowing anyone denied access to firearms to appeal the denial.

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Family members of victims from recent mass shootings gathered to demonstrate support for lawmakers.
High-Capacity Magazine Ban (still in drafting process), sponsored by Representative Rhonda Fields and Senator Mary Hodge.

The bill would ban the sale, transfer and ownership of any ammunition-feeding devices that hold more than ten rounds following the bill's enactment. For large-capacity devices already under ownership, the bill would ban their sale or transfer, as well.

Mental Health Support (still in drafting process), sponsored by Representative Beth McCann.

Under this bill, mental health professionals would be required to notify the Colorado Bureau of Investigation if a person is determined to pose a danger of physical harm to themselves or others. The CBI would add that information into the background check database, so that person would not be eligible to purchase a gun. The bill also requires that a person recently released from jail be evaluated by a mental-health professional if the crime was involved danger. A person assessed as "dangerous" would be flagged in the background check system. The bill provides an opportunity for an individual to have gun rights restored through the courts.

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Dudley Brown speaks to reporters about plans to combat legislation.
Dudley Brown, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organization, spoke after the press conference, giving a rebuttal to the proposed legislation.

"I will say this: none of the suggested solutions to the shootings have stopped any of the shootings. Adam Lanza and James Holmes, by all records, would still have been able to acquire firearms, and who would have stopped them," he said. "So, yeah, we're going to oppose these; we're going to work very hard to defeat them all."

The completed bills could be introduced as early as February 6, but there is no official timetable for the bills still in the drafting process.

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "Stephen Barton, Aurora victim and gun control advocate, grew up ten minutes from Newtown."

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3 comments
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Holding gun owners/possessors/manufacturers/dealers liable for mass shootings is just plain wrong.  Replace the terms "gun owner" with "person" or "citizen" and then consider how you feel about this oppressive legislation.  Apply this dehumanizing thought process to other possessions: hold all car owners liable for DUI deaths...  Maybe all homeowners should be held liable for incidents at a house (doesn't matter where) that result in someone's unfortunate death.  Knife owners liable for all stabbings. 

People who own guns are just that.  People.  Gun owners are especially appalled at mass shootings because they know what is going to happen as a result:  The government will want to restrict their rights and take their possessions from them.   

Seems to me the politicians who are proposing this want to create a class of criminals:  people who own guns.  They didn't do anything wrong or hurt anyone, they just own a gun so they are now supposedly dangerous criminals?  The next step, I suppose,  is to jail them, sieze their entire household through gun-law forfeiture, and ruin their lives...

Of course that is a bit exaggerated...maybe.   I have an idea.  Let's hold all politicians liable for mass shootings.  Why not?  They are as equally culpable as your average gun-owner person. 

Monkey
Monkey like.author.displayName 1 Like

Blaming the manufacturer is silly, like blaming Coors for a drunk drivers decision to drive, and owners already are liable for the mis-use of their weapons.

Will everyone have access to the CBI for background check proposes? Or will private sellers be forced to use/pay an FFL for the transaction? Is giving or inheriting a gun considered a sale? Too many questions and poorly proposed.

Magazines aren't dated, there will be no way for an officer to know if you have a grandfathered magazine or not. Most all police officers carry magazines with more than 10 rounds in them for good reason, because it makes for better defense in certain situations.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg topcommenter like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Monkey Blaming the manufacture is precisely what the victims from the Aurora massacre are doing w/ the theater . Is there a difference ? APD fired bullets . James Holmes fired bullets .  (We are told) The theater didn't fire a single round ..

I loathe 'Nuance Suits' !!! The court's are overflowing w/ them . All those attorneys on t.v. SURVIVE by nuance suits .

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