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Mag Limit Bill On The Way To Hickenlooper's Desk

Jim Hill

House bill 1224, one of the most controversial Democratic gun bills at the statehouse is now headed to the Governor’s desk.

The bill would limit high capacity magazines to 15 rounds. It’s an issue lawmakers have spent hours debating. Democratic Representative Rhonda Fields of Aurora made the same case Wednesday that she’s made for weeks.

“This bill is all about saving lives and making our community less dangerous. I tell you enough is enough,” said Fields.

Fields is from the district in Aurora where the theater shooting took place last summer, and 70 people were shot. She feels that there is a responsibility to respond to that and make the community better.

“High capacity magazines have one purpose, and that is to kill as large a number of people as possible, as quickly as possible, in places that we see as being sacred,” Fields said.

Republicans and gun rights activists bitterly oppose the measure, saying it won’t protect the public. To them it will disarm law-abiding citizens who want to defend themselves.

“It’s not whether I need a 20 round magazine or a 30 round magazine,” said Representative Frank McNulty (R- Highlands Ranch). “It is my right. It is my right to have that standard firearm that’s in common use, and you don’t have the right to take it away from me.”

The house had to re-pass the measure after agreeing to senate amendments and the Governor told house Democrats he would sign the bill into law.

A measure to require universal background checks for all gun purchases is headed to a conference committee to workout differences between the versions passed by both chambers.

Three remaining gun control measures are moving through the legislature including a bill requiring domestic violence offenders to surrender their guns, a measure that would make people to pay for their own background checks, and mandate for in-person training for concealed weapons permits.

The remaining gun control measures:

  • HB 1228 - Makes people pay for their own background checks.
  • SB 195 - Requires in-person training for concealed handgun permits.
  • SB 197 - Requires domestic violence offenders to surrender their guns.
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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