Who says gun control and change can’t happen? I live in Texas – a state that is depressingly Republican, and where our esteemed governor would like for guns to be anywhere and everywhere. But change is possible as evidenced by what’s going on in the Colorado state legislature right now.
A state that boasts a heritage of gun ownership and Old West values, Colorado has had enough of senseless violence and massacre and we are seeing the state take a serious stance on gun control. For reasons that experts have been unable to identify, Colorado has seen more than an average number of mass shootings over the years. Whether it’s because of their history of mass killings; or because of the overall national tone of violence; or the growing roar of anger from Americans; or because Colorado Democrats have control of the state House and Senate, times they are a changin’ in Colorado. In a move that will be the most advanced gun control proposals in recent history, Colorado lawmakers began a day of marathon gun control debates Friday.
The Colorado measures are being carefully watched by other states, Washington, gun control organizations, and very likely, the National Rifle Association (NRA). Vice President Joe Biden called in from his ski vacation to encourage the Colorado Democratic lawmakers last month, and state lawmakers are acutely aware that they are likely making history.
“The eyes of the nation are upon us. What we do today matters to everyone,” Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, said during one of his many trips to the microphone to oppose gun bills.
“The whole country is watching?” Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, said from the sidelines. “That’s even better. Follow our lead.” (Denver Post)
Not all proposals made the cut, but it’s encouraging to see the ones that have. The Blaze compiled a handy list from a Denver Post article. Let’s have a look. Anytime I can find something of value from Glenn Beck, et al, I celebrate.
• Online gun certification: Senate Bill 195, banning online certification for concealed carry permits and requiring people to attend classes in person — advances in Senate
• Liability for “assault”-style weapons: Senate Bill 196, holding manufacturers and sellers of semiautomatic weapons liable for violence committed with them — killed by sponsor
• Gun ban for domestic abusers: Senate Bill 197, banning certain domestic violence abusers from owning guns — advances in Senate
• Limits on high-capacity ammunition: House Bill 1224, limiting gun ammunition magazines to 15 rounds but amended to not outlaw the “standard shotgun” — advances in Senate
• Gun ban on college campuses: House Bill 1226, banning concealed weapons on college campuses — killed by sponsor
• Background check fee: House Bill 1228, requiring gun buyers to pay for their own background checks — advances in Senate
• Universal background checks: House Bill 1229, requiring background checks for all gun transfers, including private sales — advances in Senate
Predictably, the bills have created a stir (understatement) among Republican lawmakers, gun-nut voters, and gun-loving organizations. The Outdoor Channel Executive Producer Michael Bane said that the channel is preparing to leave Colorado if the measures are passed.
In an email to Republican Senator Steve King, Bane says if the Democrat-sponsored bills pass, Colorado will become known as unfriendly to sportsmen and will force other producers across the country to consider other states.
The host says he’s already cancelled a scheduled filming session for late this month.
In the email, Bane says that after consulting with three lawyers they’ve determined that, quote: “These laws are so poorly drafted, and so designed to trap otherwise legal citizens into a crime, that it is simply too dangerous for us to film here.” (Guns.com)
Will these measures, if passed in the state legislature, make it past the governor? Probably. From Denver Post:
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is on the record supporting three gun bills: universal background checks, requiring gun customers to pay for their checks and limiting magazine limits.
The governor’s office also stated that the governor will consider all of the other bills.
Democratic state Senate President John Morse acknowledged the challenges even as he claimed victory. From Fox News:
“Cleansing a sickness from our souls doesn’t come easy. It’s gruesome,” Morse said in a short speech announcing the withdrawal of his assault-weapon liability measure.
On her Friday evening show, Rachel Maddow laid out great detail about the Colorado gun control efforts and a fascinating overview of historic gun legislation. A long-ish video, but worth the watch. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy.