Last Updated:October 20 @ 04:12 pm

Democrats Advance Gun Control in Colorado Senate

By The Pueblo Chieftain

State Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, says she isn't committed to a package of seven Democratic guncontrol bills that will come to the Senate for debate Friday, although she supported three Monday and helped pass them out of the Senate State Affairs Committee she chairs.

On straight party-line votes, Giron's committee approved bills to prohibit concealed weapons from being carried in college buildings; require that customers pay the cost of background checks; and require background checks on all gun sales or transfers.

Giron amended the background legislation to exempt gun owners who give weapons to family members and to let them lend weapons to friends for up to 72 hours.

"Based on what I heard from constituents, I made the background-check legislation friendlier to gun owners," she said.

But she was qualifying her support Tuesday for the ban on concealed weapons on campus, saying she was getting more information from the Colorado State University Student Senate, which opposes the bill.

Giron said she would support the background check and fee measures Friday, but stopped short of endorsing any other gun bills. She said Senate Democratic leaders are not pressuring her.

"They know my situation is a little different," she said, a reference to the strong pressure that gun owners have brought to bear on Southern Colorado lawmakers. State Rep. Leroy Garcia, of Pueblo, voted against three of four gun bills approved by the House last month, and Rep. Ed Vigil, D-Fort Garland, voted against all four bills.

Four other gun measures were approved Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. One, making assault weapon manufacturers liable for crimes committed with the weapons, is in direct conflict with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. Another, limiting magazine capacities to 15 rounds or fewer, has been sharply derided by gun owners and the County Sheriffs of Colorado organization.

"That's just unenforceable," said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor, who opposed the three bills in Giron's committee and testified against the legislation on high-capacity magazines.

"Anyone wanting to buy a high-capacity magazine could just say they bought it in New Mexico or Wyoming," he said. "It won't accomplish anything."

Supporters of the gun measures had some highprofile witnesses Monday, such as former astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., who was severely injured in a shooting in January 2011. But opponents had their own strategies, too. The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners group was giving away high-capacity magazines this week to supporters.

proper@chieftain.com

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2 Comments

  1. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    March 6, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    Colorado Democrats are trying to reach some of the goals desired by national gun-control lobbies … not fix any problems which may exist in Colorado.

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  2. nhpollackComment by nhpollack
    March 6, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

    vietnamvet,
    I’ve corresponded with all of the Democrats several times, the Judiciary committee and the representatives from my particular district and only received two responses; one from Republican Jared Wright that was positive and one from Democrat Mike McLachlan that was negative. I’ve also corresponded with Senators Bennett and Udall and that was the predictable exercise in self abuse. I’m preparing to contact Angela Giron, Cheri Jahn, Andy Kerr, Linda Newell, Jeanne Nicholson, Gail Schwartz and Lois Tochtrop right now.

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