Bills which would have repealed the background check requirement for private firearms sales and the 15-round limit on magazines both failed to pass the Colorado House State Affairs Committee. Other pro-gun bills, including one that would have allowed licensed persons to carry concealed weapons on public school grounds, are also being reviewed by the Democrat-controlled committee. Though support for the repeal is strong in the state and efforts to undo at least some of the damage to gun rights done in 2013 will continue, the failures of these bills to advance is a setback for pro-gun groups and citizens.
The universal background check law requires checks even on private individual sales and transfers and charges a $7.00 for the check. Senate Bill 86 passed the Senate and would have repealed universal background check requirements, but it was rejected by a 7-4 committee vote.
Senate Bill 75, a repeal of the state’s 15-round magazine limit, sparked debated that lasted well into the night but was rejected 6-5. The one-vote loss shows that the issue is tightly contested and may provide additional incentive to those fighting for the law’s repeal. There was talk that a middle ground 30-round limit might be available, but many Republicans were taking a “No Compromise” position and holding out for no magazine size cap, believing that any restriction was an unconstitutional infringement of the right to keep and bear arms.
House Bill 1168 would have removed the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons on school property if the individual has a valid concealed carry license. It was also rejected.
When the Colorado legislature passed significant changes to gun control in the state following the 2012 mass shooting in an Aurora movie theater, the outcry both within the state and across the U.S. was loud and immediate. Several Colorado firearms industry companies threatened to move out of state to friendlier environments and efforts to recall some of those most responsible for the new laws were launched. Two Democratic state Senators, including Colorado Senate president John Morse, were successfully recalled from office and a third resigned while signatures on a recall petition were still being collected.
Magpul, whose main business is magazines, relocated its manufacturing operations to Wyoming and Texas. In large part due to the gun law controversy, Republicans captured the Colorado Senate for the first time in a decade. Democrats, however, retain control of the state’s House.