Last Updated:September 14 @ 05:35 pm

Colorado Democrats inflict more pain on law abiding citizens

By Gazette

DENVER - After more than eight hours of public testimony Tuesday, Democrats passed out of committee two gun-control measures that would create universal background checks and limit high-capacity magazines to 15 rounds.

The bills were the first to be heard of sweeping gun regulations proposed by Democrats this year in the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting, and they will now head to the House Appropriations Committee and the House floor, respectively.

Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, authored both bills and defended the measures against an onslaught of criticism from gun rights advocates who filled the committee chambers at the Capitol wearing stickers saying "I vote pro-gun."

Universal Background Checks

Under current law, buyers of firearms at certified dealers or gun shows must pass a background check performed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

There is no background check performed, however, when a firearm is sold or transferred between individuals. But House Bill 229 would change that.

"The private sale loophole is just a way for criminals to skirt around our current background check and it contributes to the murder of 34 Americans every single day," Fields said. "Background checks are the only systematic way to stop felons, domestic abusers and the seriously mentally ill and other abusers from buying firearms."

Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, told Fields the bill would have done nothing to prevent the Aurora shooting in her district and will do little for public safety.

"What we're doing is imposing a higher restraint on one's right to keep and bear arms," said Gardner, who was one of four votes against both bills.

Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, voted in favor of the bills and said no constitutional rights are absolute and all are subject to reasonable restraint on things such as time and place in the interest of public safety.

"The balancing that we have to do to protect our amendment rights while promoting our public safety rights is the challenging task we have as representatives," Lee said. "What we need to do is prevent people who want to do us violence from obtaining weapons."

Ronald Sloan, director of the CBI, spoke in favor of the bill.

A fiscal analysis estimates the additional background checks would require 25 additional staff members at CBI and would cost $1.6 million in 2013.

The proposed bill allows for the transfer of firearms between immediate family members. It would be a misdemeanor to violate the law.

Private sellers would go to licensed gun dealers and pay $10 to have the required background check performed.

"This bill would place an unjust burden on law abiding citizens who may live miles, two hours, from the nearest gun dealer where they would have to go and register or go through and do a background check procedure," said Daniel Carey, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. He said a similar requirement in California had failed to increase public safety.

High capacity magazines

Fields' second bill bans magazines that hold more than 15 bullets, but provides a grandfather clause to allow current owners to keep their high-capacity magazines.

"The motivation behind this bill is based on what happened in Aurora on July 20," Fields said. "A shooter killed 12 people and he injured 58 ... in 90 seconds he was able to do that kind of damage."

The family of victims from the Columbine and Aurora massacres and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut testified in favor the bill, talking about how loved ones could have survived if the shooter had to take time to reload.

A representative from Magpul, a manufacturing company based in Colorado that produces high-capacity magazines for both domestic and foreign militaries, testified that the multi-million dollar company that employs 200 people would have to move out of the state if the bill is passed.

About the Bills

HB229: Requires background checks for the sale or transfer of a firearm between two individuals, and makes violation of the law a misdemeanor, as well as, holding the seller liable for damages if the gun is misused.

Authors: Representatives Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora; Beth McCann, D-Denver; and Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora

Action: Passed House Judiciary Committee 7-4

Next Step: House Appropriations Committee

HB224: Bans the sale or transfer of magazines that hold more than 15 bullets or 8 shotgun shells, requiring manufacturers to date-stamp and serial number newly produced magazines. Current owners are grandfathered in and a violation is a misdemeanor.

Authors: Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora; Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton

Action: Passed House Judiciary Committee 7-4

Next Step: House floor

GUN STATISTICS

Background Checks 2012

The Colorado Bureau of Investigations performs background checks on every person attempting to buy a firearm in Colorado from a licensed dealer or gun show. Demand in December increased the wait for a background check up to 10 days. In 2012, the agency reported:

--343,302 background checks

--7,362 denied total

Firearm deaths in perspective

In 2010, the National Vital Statistics Report was released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showing estimates for the leading causes of death based on evidence.

--Accidents:

Falls 26,009

Discharge of firearm 606

Drowning 3,782

Exposure to smoke 2,782

Poisoning and noxious substances 33,041

-- Suicide

Discharge of firearms 19,392

Other 18,972

--Homicide

Firearms 11,078

Other 5,181

--Undetermined intent

Firearms 252

Totals

Drug-induced 40,393

Alcohol related 25,692

Fatal injury by firearms 31,672

Source: National Vital Statistics Report "Deaths: Final Data for 2010"

___

(c)2013 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com

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15 Comments

  1. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    February 13, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

    Let them pass what ever laws that they wish to pass. Whether or not I own a gun, I won’t comply. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees our right to bear arms. It was put in there to protect ourselves and the Nation from tyrants.

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    • bf39Comment by bf39
      February 13, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

      The family of an ICE agent that was killed with guns from the Fast and Furious deal has filed a lawsuit against the federal government among others. obama has got to get the democrats doing something to take the spotlight off the lawsuit. It was also noted in the article that some of the guns had made their way to Indiana, I think, and a crime had been committed there with some of the Fast and Furious guns that has made their way back to the United States.

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  2. ctroopComment by ctroop
    February 13, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

    Amen to that and double in spades. The 2nd amendment is the one that is NOT subject to modification. Free speech does has limits (fire in a crowded theater yadda, yadda, yadda), but the 2nd amendment’s ending is a no-brainer! “…shall not be infringed…” PERIOD ! ! ! There are no “buts” and there are NO EXCEPTIONS ! ! ! ANY law, whether federal, state, or local (and regardless of lawyers in black robes “interpreting” otherwise, ANY law contrary to “…shall not be infringed…” IS NO LAW AT ALL AND SHOULD BE WILLFULLY, OPENLY AND DEFIANTLY IGNORED AND DISOBEYED. And ANY agent of ANY law enforcement agency who tries to enforce ANY infringement must be dealt with the same way we would deal with any other ******* THUG trying to break into our house. I truly wish people who pass such laws (and the A-holes who try to enforce them) would just save us a lot of trouble and just drop dead ! ! !

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    • rzraickComment by rzraick
      February 13, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

      The founder debated the Constitution for a decade. Then they added the Bill od rights just to make clear the limitations ob the central government.

      They did not always agree on everythng and the debates were almost first fights becuase of the passions. But there was one thing which they unanimously agreed upon and that was the absolute necessity of the 2nd ammendment.

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  3. willyrhoComment by willyrho
    February 13, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

    Once the Gun Grabbing Facists get all gun transfers registered they will confiscate all of them. Just ask Stalin Mao Poll Pot.

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (18 votes cast)
  4. DudleyComment by Dudley
    February 13, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

    “Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, voted in favor of the bills and said no constitutional rights are absolute and all are subject to reasonable restraint on things such as time and place in the interest of public safety.”

    Man, oh, man. Where do they find these people. “A well regulated militia, being nessary for the security of a free state, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

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    • cdrcodyComment by cdrcody
      February 13, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

      Sounds absolute to me if language means anything. I think the House should pull a Harry Reid. How many bills from the House or committee recomendations has he passed over and refused to have a discussion on them? When this thing shows up the House should do the same and toss it into the circular file.

      Which reminds me, I heard the National Archives is going to put up a new building in Washington. It will be a fifteen story structure in the shape of a waste paper basket.

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    • rzraickComment by rzraick
      February 13, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

      Of course these guys want to be able to interpret the Bill of Rights in any way which will allow them to violate it. It present a major obstacle to the limits of their power. Most of the problem throughout our history can be traced to the times when we failed to follow the Constitution. Had we followed the Constitution, we would never have destroyed the native Americans. We would eventually been able to live in harmony. The rights of all men are protected by the ideas set forth in the Constitution.
      Not just the rights of Americans but of all men. Human rights are not given by governments.
      Had we followed the Constitution, we would not be bankrupt and fighting wars of aggression and profit around the world.

      Had we followed the Constitution. Obama would not have been elected and we would now be a prosperous nation and a free nation today.

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  5. willyrhoComment by willyrho
    February 13, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

    Please go back to the Old Days when we registered Commies and Not Guns. Thank you.

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  6. willyrhoComment by willyrho
    February 13, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    What part of “Shall not be Infringed” is so hard to understand? The men that wrote it knew that “ANY Infringement” was bad. Shall Not means Absolutely, Not a Smidgeon, Not One Iota or any other Miniscule amount of infringement. ABSOLUTELY NONE at ALL.

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  7. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    February 13, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    Did Fields and Lee take oaths of office that swore to uphold the Constitution of Colorado?
    Does the Colorado Constitution allow infringement?

    Are there grounds for impeachment due to failure to uphold the oath?

    Don’t just moan and groan, Colorado. Do something!

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    • coloradonothighComment by coloradonothigh
      February 13, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

      The dope smoking liberals have us out numbered here in Colorado.

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    • JudyComment by Judy
      February 13, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

      Gill, Bridges, Polis, and Stryker (very deep pocket Democrat donors in Colorado) have practically ruined this state turning it from red to blue with their donations. I was thinking of moving there but this is the last straw from the left there.

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  8. timeforjusticeComment by timeforjustice
    February 13, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

    …..Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, voted in favor of the bills and said no constitutional rights are absolute and all are subject to reasonable restraint on things such as time and place in the interest of public safety…….

    So essentially what this State Representative is saying, is that if they don’t like the Constitution, then either ignore it or rewrite it to suit their own needs and agenda.

    Someone elected this guy in. That is one bad hombre.

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  9. KAHR50Comment by KAHR50
    February 14, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    The motivation behind this bill is based on what happened in Aurora on July 20,” Fields said. “A shooter killed 12 people and he injured 58 … in 90 seconds he was able to do that kind of damage.”

    Let’s see, it takes me less than 2 seconds to swap a magazine, so if I had 5 of these 15 round magazines that would add at most 8 seconds to the 90 seconds arriving at 98 seconds in which to destroy the same 70 lives.

    And when did the police show up to stop this? Did I miss some news report that they were there in 91 seconds – or 92? How about 93? 94? 95? 96? 97? 98 seconds? Of course not.

    On the other hand, it takes me less than 2 seconds to draw my concealed weapon and set 2 shots on target to center mass. Now using the logic of the above quote, I could have statistically saved 88 seconds worth of lives:

    Try to follow this libtards, I know math, statistics and facts are hard for you to manage in your feeble emotional brains so I will show all steps:

    90 seconds less the 2 I need to draw my weapon and set 2 on target. So there would be 88 less seconds of destruction.

    Mathematically that is 88/90 = .978

    Multiplying this proportion by the number of people killed or injured; 70 we get the proportionate number of people who would not have been killed or injured, or 68.4 people.

    That is the number of people whose lives would not have been ruined if just one concealed carry hero was allowed in that theatre.

    Is it not the libtards who always decry “if only 1 life can be saved then we should do it?”. Well I just statistically saved 68.4 lives proving beyond any doubt that law-abiding citizens should allow concealed carry everywhere.

    PS – I’m sorry to the .4, I tried my best

    What a stupid useless law that will change NOTHING. IDIOTS to the core pass these “feel good because at least we did something” lies err… laws.

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