Colorado Gun Ban Passes House, One Step Closer to the Californication of the Mile High State

by Vern Evans
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The Colorado House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, passed a bill on Sunday that aims to ban the sale and transfer of semiautomatic firearms, marking a significant legislative move that could align Colorado with other states that have similar prohibitions, according to ABC News. The bill, which was approved by a 35-27 vote, now heads to the Democratic-majority state Senate.

This legislative push comes a year after a nearly identical proposal was rejected by Democrats, citing concerns about the scope of the ban and commitments to their constituents to avoid excessive government intervention. The bill’s journey through the Senate is anticipated to be challenging despite the Democratic majority, as Colorado has historically been a battleground state with a mixed political heritage.

Governor Jared Polis, also a Democrat, has expressed reservations about the bill, reflecting the nuanced positions within the party on gun control measures. Last year, Governor Polis signed four less comprehensive gun control laws, including raising the minimum age for purchasing firearms to 21, establishing a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, enhancing the state’s red flag law, and reducing legal protections for the firearms industry, making it more susceptible to lawsuits from gun violence victims.

These legislative actions followed several tragic events in Colorado, a state with a painful history of mass shootings. This includes the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, a movie theater shooting in Aurora in 2012, and more recently, a shooting at a Boulder supermarket in 2021 and at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

Democratic Representative Javier Mabrey highlighted Colorado’s notorious history with mass shootings in his plea for support for the bill, emphasizing the deadly potential of semiautomatic weapons which can inflict significant harm in a short period.

In contrast, Republicans in the House argued that the bill infringes on the Second Amendment rights and insisted that mental health issues and the broader societal disregard for life are the root causes of violence, not the firearms themselves. They pointed out that individuals intent on harm could resort to other means, such as knives. Just such a violent attack with a knife was carried out in Australia this past weekend, a nation that prides itself on how it limited its citizens from easily owning and possessing firearms.

The outcome in the state Senate will be closely watched as an indicator of shifting legislative priorities in traditionally purple states.

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