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Gun Debate Underway On Colorado House Floor

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Four Democratic gun control bills are on the docket for State lawmakers to debate Friday. It’s a debate that is expected to go late into the night.The bills would ban concealed carry weapons on college campuses, ban high capacity magazines, require universal background checks for gun purchases, and make people pay for their own background checks. Governor John Hickenlooper recently expressed support for most of the proposals but notes that the high capacity magazine ban is especially contentious.

“I’m not sure where they’re going to end up, and they might end up having to compromise,” Hickenlooper said.

Representative Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) is the main sponsor of HB 1224, which is the high capacity magazine ban [.pdf]. She says those magazines have no place in society and contribute to mass shootings.  

“So they can unload as many bullets as they can to kill as many people as possible in our schools, our theatres, our churches,” she said.

Republicans argue Democrats are infringing on the second amendment and people deserve the right to defend themselves.

“It’s not about the tool, but the character of this nation and the direction we’re headed,” said Representative Frank McNulty of Highlands Ranch. He says trying to get rid of guns won’t make anyone safer or prevent violent shootings.

Republicans also argue that criminals will always find a way to get their hands on dangerous weapons. The gun debate is expected to play out throughout the legislative session. Democrats say the time to act is now, especially in the wake of tragic mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.

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