Colorado gun bills: Lawmakers spar for seven rounds of bills

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
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By Lynn Bartels and Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post

Hundreds of Coloradans showed up at the state Capitol on Monday to cheer or jeer seven Democratic gun-control measures that senators debated late into the night.

By late Monday, two Democrat-controlled Senate committees had passed all seven bills regarding stricter gun control.

Earlier in the day, a biplane flew over the stately gold dome with a banner directed at Gov. John Hickenlooper, and drivers drove around and around the Capitol honking their displeasure with the gun bills. Inside, the number of people lined up to testify — many of them gun-rights advocates — made it nearly impossible to navigate the hallways at times.

Coloradans began lining up outside the state Capitol at 6:30 a.m. to testify, although

the first bills to be heard in the Judiciary and State Affairs committee weren’t scheduled to be heard until 10:30 a.m.

Among the star witnesses for Democrats was Capt. Mark Kelly — whose wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, was injured in a mass shooting outside a Tucson grocery store. He has testified in Congress in favor of stricter gun laws in the wake of mass shootings at a Colorado movie theater last July and at a Connecticut elementary school in December.

“We said this time, ‘Enough is enough, and something needs to be done,’ ” Kelly told the Senate State Affairs committee members hearing a bill on universal background checks.

Before the Judiciary Committee, Patricia Maisch, who helped disable Giffords’ shooter, testified for a bill limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.

“This bill is an attempt to reduce the slaughter,” said the sponsor, Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton.

But victims of other tragedies, including survivors from the Columbine High School shooting, urged lawmakers to vote “no.”

Adam Thompson was a junior when two classmates tried to blow up Columbine and then began shooting when their bombs failed.

“I struggled 12 years dealing with survivor guilt and that I was put in a position where I was defenseless and so were the people around me that were supposed to keep me safe,” he said. “I never want to be defenseless again. … I have become a firearms owner.”

Read more:Colorado gun bills: Lawmakers spar for seven rounds of bills – The Denver Post
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