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Another Marathon Gun Session At The Colorado Capitol

Bente Birkeland

The full Senate is set to debate seven Democratic-backed gun bills Friday at the State Capitol.

All the measures are controversial but passage of some of the most contentious proposals could come down to a single vote.

Democrats can only afford to lose two votes on any of the measures and Senator Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge) has already said she’ll be a no vote on several of the bills. She says a proposal to make gun manufacturers and sellers liable in shooting is over-reaching. She doesn’t think limiting high capacity magazines to 15 rounds is enforceable or effective.

Jahn also says she’ll vote against a bill to ban concealed carry weapons on college campuses.

“They talk about the party people. Let’s be really clear we’re talking about 21 year olds who vote, who go to war. I have not seen one case where a person with a concealed carry went through the legal process where there has been one incident on campus where they’ve been the perpetrator.”

Senator Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton) has also said she’s a no vote on some of the bills. But Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs), whose sponsoring the gun liability measure, says he’s not worried.

“I am sure that we will pass a comprehensive package and my bill is on the cutting edge of that so I’m confident that we’ll pass it.”

House minority leader Mark Waller (R-Colorado Springs) says Democrats are pushing an anti-gun agenda that won’t effectively prevent violent gun crimes.

“I’ve talked to Democrats that say the emails they’re getting are 5 to 1 in opposition to the legislation they’re putting forward. There are a lot of 2nd amendment advocates in Colorado and I believe they’re upset at the approach Colorado has taken.”

Senate leaders say they expect a marathon debate that could last until the early hours of Saturday morning.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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