(Feb. 18) – The Colorado House of Representative gave final approval today to a package of gun safety bills.
HB13-1229, closing the loophole on background checks for firearms purchasers, passed 36-29. HB13-1228, ending the taxpayer subsidy for gun buyers’ background checks, passed 33-32. HB13-1224, limiting the sale, purchase or transfer of firearms magazines that can hold more than 15 bullets or eight shotgun shells, passed the House 34-31. HB13-1226, prohibiting concealed carry in buildings on Colorado’s public colleges and universities, passed 34-31.
The package now moves to the state Senate. Not a single House Republican voted for any of the bills, which surveys show are supported by solid majorities of Colorado voters.
“We can no longer walk around in our society with these blinders on as if nothing is happening,” Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) told the House. Rep. Fields lost a son to gun violence and her district includes the Aurora theater where 12 were killed and 58 injured last July.
“Responsible folks who own guns, they support what I’m doing,” said Rep. Fields, who sponsored the magazines bill and cosponsored the background checks bill with Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver). “I have support from law enforcement. But most importantly I have the support of the families that have been impacted by gun violence.”
“This is commonsense legislation that will take guns out of the hands of felons and will increase public safety,” said Speaker Mark Ferrandino.
“I’m grateful to the Colorado House for listening to the voices of reason rather than the shrill voices of those who insist we can’t do anything to reduce gun violence,” said Tom Mauser, whose son, Daniel, was one of the victims of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
“So many times in the past we have walked away from horrific tragedies saying it’s too hard to do something and nothing will make a difference,” said Dave Hoover, a Lakewood police officer and uncle of Aurora theater victim AJ Boik. “Now we have started to do something different, because what we have not done in the past has brought us to where we are today. I appreciate the courage our state legislators are showing with their vote today.”