What firearms-related bills passed or failed in Colorado Legisla - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

What firearms-related bills passed or failed in Colorado Legislature?

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The topic of guns and gun-related accessories continue to be a hot topic in the wake mass shootings, school shootings, church shootings and other gun violence across the United States.

With the 2018 session of the Colorado state legislature now over, News 5 takes a look back at the proposed bills in the House and Senate and how far they advanced in debate.

HB18-1436 - Extreme Risk Protection Order

House Bill 1436, or the so-called "red flag bill" which dealt with Extreme Risk Protection orders, was first introduced on April 30. 

The bill would have allowed family members or law enforcement officers to ask a judge for a temporary extreme risk protection order, which allow the confiscation of guns from individuals believed to be at risk of hurting themselves or others.

Prime sponsors Rep. Alec Garnett (D-Denver), Rep. Cole Wist (R-Arapahoe) and Sen. Lois Cort (D-Arapahoe, Denver) lobbied hard to get the measure passed through committee and the full House. However, it was rejected just a week later by the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs.

Many Republican lawmakers argued that the bill threatened to intrude on gun holders' Second Amendment rights. Governor Hickenlooper supported the bill and voiced his dissapointment in its failure to pass.

SB18-097 - - Concealed carry without a permit

Senate Bill 18-097 would have allowed the concealed-carry of a handgun without a permit. There was a duplicate bill introduced in the House.

Sen. Tim Neville (R - Boulder, Denver, Gilpin, Jefferson) and Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R - Douglas) sponsored the bill that would allow anyone 21 and older who is allowed to carry a handgun legally to carry in a concealed manner.

The measure also reinforced current laws which prevent the carrying of a weapon in schools and universities.

The Senate narrowly passed SB 18-097 by one vote, 18-17 on March 8.  It then moved into the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee in the for discussion, but instead of voting on the measure, the committee voted 6-3 for a reverse roll call. Ending any further discussion on the matter.

RELATED: El Paso County leads Colorado with number of concealed handgun permits

HB18-077 - New felony classification for gun thefts

House Bill 18-077 called for a new felony classification for anyone charged with committing a burglary with the intent to steal firearms or ammunition.

Sponsors Rep. Larry Liston (R - El Paso), Rep. Donald Valdez (D - Alamosa,, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache), Sen. Leroy Garcia (D - Pueblo), and Sen. Ray Scott (R - Mesa) set out to create a third type of second degree burglary as a class 3 felony. 

A conviction carries the same prison sentencing guidelines as a class 3 felony, but also adds a potential fine between $5,000 and $750,000.

The bill passed through the House and Senate with no amendments and was sent to Governor Hickenlooper for a signature to become law.

SB18-051 - Ban bump stocks

Senate Bill 18-051, introduced by Sen. Michael Merrifield (D - El Paso), called for the prohibition of multi-burst trigger activators, which is a legalese way of describing bump-stocks.

The devices which were approved by the ATF as an accessory in 2010 came under intense scrutiny following the mass shooting that claimed 59 lives and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas.

Denver already banned the devices in January. The Trump Administration has taken the first steps to review that 2010 decision by the ATF with strong indications of an outright federal ban looming. 

Sen. Merrifield told News 5, "I didn't think I would ever be saying this, but I'm pleased that President Trump actually supports my bill. My position on guns is very well known. I'm a gun owner, I'm a hunter, and my constituents have been very supportive of the position I take on gun safety."

The bill introduced to the Colorado Legislature would have banned possession and sale of the devices statewide with a class 5 felony penalty for the first offense, and a class 4 felony for each subsequent offense. 

The bill defined a 'multi-burst trigger activator' as:

  • A device that attaches to a semiautomatic firearm and allows the firearm to discharge 2 or more shots in a burst when the device is activated; or
  • A manual or power-driven trigger-activating device that, when attached to a semiautomatic firearm, increases the rate of fire of that firearm.

Upon introduction to the Republican-controlled Senate, the bill was assigned to the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs - and went no further. 

SB18-052  & HB18-1015 - Repeal ban on high-capacity magazines

Both of the bills introduced in each chamber of the Colorado Legislature intended to get rid of the state ban on high capacity magazines (capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammo) and repealing the requirement for all magazines manufactured in Colorado to be stamped with the date of creation.

Under Colorado law, anyone found to be in possession of a high capacity magazine manufactured after July 1, 2013 could be charged with a misdemeanor.

The Senate Bill made it through the legislative process in the Republican-controlled body, but never made it out of the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, failing along 6-3 party lines.  The House version also died in that committee.

The sponsors of both measures were: Sen. Owen Hill (R - El Paso), Rep. Stephen Humphery (R - Weld), Rep. Lori Saine (R - Weld). It is worth noting that SB17-007 and HB17-1097, with the exact same language, failed last year.

The restrictions put in place during the 2013 legislative session happened in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting in which 12 people were killed and 58 wounded by gunman James Holmes. Shortly after the increased gun control measure was signed into law, firearms accessory manufacturer Magpul announced plans to move their facilities out of Erie (partially in Weld County) and start anew in Wyoming and Texas.

HB18-1074 & SB18-185 --- Use of deadly force against an intruder at a business

Rep. Justin Everett (R - Jefferson), Sen. Vicki Marble (R - Broomfield, Larimer, Weld), Sen. Jim Smallwood (R - Douglas), and Rep. Shane Sandridge (R - El Paso) introduced bills in each chamber to extend "the right to use deadly force against an intruder under certain conditions to include owners, managers, and employees of a business."

Colorado law already carries protections for homeowners to shoot and kill an intruder in self defense. It was enacted into law in 1985.

This type of law is commonly referred to as "stand your ground"  or "make my day" to extend legal protections to persons trying to defend themselves and others when targeted by criminals. 

This year's effort to add businesses to this type of protection made it through the Republican-controlled Senate without amendments, yet both the Senate bill and House bill failed to make it past the House Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs.

HB18-1037 - Concealed handguns on school grounds

Rep. Patrick Neville (R - Douglas) and Sen. Tim Neville (R - Boulder, Denver, Gilpin, Jefferson) - yes, they are father and son - introduced a bill aimed at allowing concealed carry of handguns on school grounds. 

HB18-1037 simply sought to amend current law for current concealed carry permit holders which "limits the authority of a person who holds a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun by prohibiting a permit holder from carrying a concealed handgun on public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school grounds."

It was introduced in early January, assigned to committee, and failed to make it out of the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on a vote of 6-3 against. 

If you'd like to know more about how bills on any subject performed in the 71st General Assembly legislative session (or as far back as 2016), learn more about your representative or senator, or the designations of the committees - visit the Colorado General Assembly Website at leg.colorado.gov/

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