Gun Debate Moves to Background Checks

(Feb. 15) – After six hours, the House begins debate on closing the background checks loophole to promote public safety in Colorado.

HB13-1229, sponsored by Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), will require background checks on all gun sales. Under current law, background checks are required for gun sales by licensed dealers and at gun shows. This bill simply closes the loophole on private sales to ensure that all gun purchasers are legal to possess a firearm.

“This bill will promote the public safety and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic violence offenders and those who have been flagged for serious mental illness,” Rep. McCann said.

From February 2011 to Dec. 31, 2012, there were 389 persons with felony charges prohibited from obtaining a firearm because of the CBI Instacheck. There were also 277 people with arrests and restraining orders and 90 persons with domestic violence charges that were denied because of the CBI Instacheck. CBI approves 98 percent of all checks run with only a 2 percent denial rate.

Coloradans overwhelmingly support closing the background check loophole. According to a January 2013 Denver Post article, 83 percent of Coloradans support requiring these checks on all gun sales. In addition, according to another national poll, 74 percent of NRA members support background checks on private sales.

“This bill is a responsible way to increase public safety while protecting individuals’ second amendment rights,” Speaker Mark Ferrandino said.

The debate begins as the bill limiting magazines to 15 rounds passes the House on a second reading voice vote. HB13-1224, sponsored by Rep. Fields, will prohibit the sale and transfer of high-capacity magazines exceeding 15 rounds.

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