Rep. opposition likely to slow, not prevent passage of new gun laws
Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, was accused of filibustering during gun debates on Feb. 14, 2013. Democrats expected more of the same on Feb. 15, 2013.
DENVER — A debate over a proposed ban on high-capacity magazines, the first of four Democratic gun proposals to be heard Friday, is underway on the floor of the statehouse.
One hour into that debate, the Republican minority is already fighting the adoption of a committee report and the amendment raising the limit on magazines to those with more than 15 clips.
“This is an arbitrary number,” said Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker.
The strident opposition to House Bill 1224, one of the two measures the House GOP entered the day with hope of defeating, presaged a long floor fight over the four Democratic gun control measures that Is expected to last late into the night and possibly Saturday morning.
Democrats have offered an amendment to the committee report to allow Magpul, a Boulder county magazine manufacturer that is threatening to leave Colorado if this ban becomes law, to continue to produce magazines of any size in the state that can be sold elsewhere but not legally used here.
Republicans blasted that too.
“Now it’s clear, this is all about the money,” said Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling. “You don’t care about the people, just the money this company contributes to our state.”
Democrats said they’re simply striving to find a balance that protects affected businesses while improving public safety.
“This represents us listening to a constituency base,” said Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton.
Holbert referred to the amendment as “the oops amendment”, arguing that Democrats forgot about the impact on businesses when drafting the bill.
Republicans are hoping they can find five Democrats to vote against the bill and help kill it; at least four Democrats have expressed reservations but House Speaker Mark Ferrandino is confident that the high-capacity magazine ban will pass the House at the end of this long debate.
The other measures before the House Friday include a mandate for background checks on all gun purchases, a shift that would force gun buyers to pay for those background checks, and a ban on concealed weapons on college campuses.