Universal background checks for gun buyers going to governor for signature
DENVER — The Colorado State Legislature passed a bill requiring background
checks for all Colorado gun sales Friday afternoon.
The Senate approved the bill Friday morning and the House gave final approval in the afternoon.
The bill was passed by a 36-27 vote in the Democratically controlled House.
All but one Democrat voted in favor of House Bill 1229 in the Senate, also controlled by Democrats.
Sales of guns from retail stores already go through a background check. The new bill will add background checks to sales between individuals.
Democrats say the bill will close a loophole that allows criminals to buy guns either online or at sales outside stores and skip the background check.
Senate Democrats added a provision to the bill to allow immediate family members to be exempt from the law when transferring guns. The bill also allows for a 72-hour loan of a gun without a background check so long as the gun owner isn’t knowingly giving it to someone legally barred from owning a gun.
Republicans call the bill burdensome and an infringement on gun owner’s rights.
“The supposition of this bill is you are guilty until you are proven innocent, and that’s not what we do in this country,” said Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, last week when the House was considering the original bill.
House Bill 1229 is sponsored by Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, who said public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Coloradans support universal background checks.
In his State of the State speech, Gov. John Hickenlooper endorsed universal background checks.