Gun background-check nightmare in Colorado
by JACK MINOR
DENVER – With some arm-twisting by Vice President Joe Biden, the Obama administration has pressured Democratic lawmakers in gun-friendly Colorado to “fall on their swords” and pass restrictions on firearms it hopes will be a model for the nation, a state lawmaker contends.
While much attention has been focused on President Obama’s calls for federal legislation establishing universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons, the administration is working hard at the state level.
New York was the first to pass strict controls on guns after the Sandy Hook shooting, with its ban on assault weapons and magazines, but the move was not a surprise in the liberal Northeast.
In Colorado, where gun control is far less popular among a large rural population, a flurry of gun control bills include one that would hold gun makers and owners responsible for any crimes committed by their weapons, even if they were stolen.
“The first thing the Democrats did was introduce a bill that would have declared an unloaded gun to be a deadly weapon,” said Lori Saine, R-Dacono. “This would enable police to confiscate any firearm on the basis it is a deadly weapon, even if it is unloaded.”
The other bills introduced are:
HB 1224, which would bans all magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.
HB 1226 would prohibit those with concealed carry permits, including off duty police officers and former military personnel, from bringing their weapons on college campuses.
HB 1228 would force residents to pay for exercising a constitutional right by making them pay for a background check to prove they are not criminals. There is no limit on the amount the Colorado Bureau of Investigation could charge for the background check.
HB 1229 bans the private sale and transfer of firearms and institutes universal background checks and/gun registration for all Colorado gun owners.
All the bills are moving forward through the legislative process.