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Mar 15, 2013 7:17 AM by Jeff Langan

Colorado lawmakers will debate on gun background checks

DENVER (AP) - Expanding background checks for private and online firearm purchases in Colorado is expected to dominate debate at the state Capitol as lawmakers prepare to take final votes on the measure.

The debate is the latest chapter in a divisive issue as lawmakers grapple over how to address mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

The fight over new firearm restrictions underlines the political tension in a state with a proud history of gun ownership and a legacy of high-profile shootings.

The House and Senate are expected to take final votes on the background-check bill to send it Gov. Democratic John Hickenlooper.

Democrats who control the Legislature have already approved the bill once on party-line votes, but they're expected to vote Friday to OK amendments.

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