Background-Check Loophole Starts to Close

(Feb. 12) – The House Judiciary Committee voted 7-4 today to support a bill to close a huge loophole in Colorado’s background checks law, a successful first step forward for legislative Democrats’ gun safety package.

HB13-1229, sponsored by Reps. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) and Beth McCann (D-Denver), will close the loophole in Colorado’s firearms background checks law that exempts gun sales that do not involve a federally licensed firearms dealer or an exhibitor at a gun show.

About 40 percent of gun sales pass through this loophole via purchases from unlicensed sellers. Surveys show that the vast majority of Coloradans support closing this loophole.

”The focus of this bill is trying to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” Rep. Fields told the committee. “Because we know that if you are a convicted felon, the way to get around that process, that background check, is to go buy a gun from a private seller.”

Speakers in support of the bill included representatives of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police; a former agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; an array of gun safety organizations; a survivor of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and the father of a student killed at Columbine; and Karina Vargas of Aurora, a wheelchair-bound survivor of a shooting.

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