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Colorado Shoots Down Two Gun Friendly Bills

By: Robert Davis

Two of three bills aimed at making Colorado a more gun friendly state have failed in the Colorado General Assembly: House Bill 18-1015, “Repeal Ammunition Magazine Limitations,” and House Bill 18-1037, “Concealed Handguns on School Grounds,” were defeated last month. Senate Bill 18-097, “Concealed Handgun Carry with No Permit,” is still being considered.

‘Repeal Ammunition Magazine Limitations’
According to the text of HB 18-1015, the bill would have repealed statutory provisions “prohibiting the possession of certain ammunition magazines; and requiring each of certain ammunition magazines that are manufactured in Colorado on or after July 1, 2013, to include a permanent stamp or marking indicating that the magazine was manufactured or assembled after July 1, 2013.”

The Colorado Legislature has failed multiple times to advance a bill that would repeal the 2013 statute limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds. The last action taken on such a bill was in 2017 under SB 17-007. The bill passed both the state House and Senate chambers before being assigned to the Senate’s State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. The bill was then postponed indefinitely in March 2017, before being reintroduced for consideration under HB 18-1015.

According to Guns & Ammo’s 2017 Best States For Gun Owners List, the limitations on magazine size was a large contributing factor for Colorado being ranked 39 out of the 50 states. This restriction targets assault weapons and semiautomatic firearms broadly, and for arbitrary reasons.

Under current Colorado law, selling, transferring, or possessing large-capacity magazines is a Class 2 misdemeanor. HB 18-1015 was stopped by a 6-3 vote on February 21, 2018.

‘Concealed Handgun Carry with No Permit’
SB 18-097 would “allow a person who legally possesses a handgun under state and federal law to carry a concealed handgun in Colorado” while preserving certain restrictions on carrying on certain public grounds, such as public elementary, middle, junior high, or high schools.

Eleven states have adopted laws known as “constitutional carry” that allow concealed carry of handguns without a permit.” Sixteen others, including Colorado, have introduced bills this year to do the same. SB 18-097 passed the state Senate in early March.

‘Concealed Handguns on School Grounds’
Colorado legislators who wanted to take constitutional carry a step further by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns on school grounds saw their efforts thwarted last week with Democrat opposition to HB 18-1037. According to the bill’s text, it would no longer be an offense if “the weapon involved was a handgun and the person held a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun or a temporary emergency permit.”

Gifford’s Law Center reports Colorado law prohibits anyone from knowingly carrying, bringing, or having in his or her possession a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, in or on the property of any public or private school, or any public or private college, university or seminary. Anyone found in possession of a firearm has committed a felony, punishable by up to 1.5 years in jail and a fine up to $100,000.

Certain exemptions include presenting an authorized public demonstration organized with a school or class, participating in an extracurricular activity or on a sports team—such as Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) or competitive shooting, or storing a gun in a private automobile. HB 18-1037 would have repealed these limitations.

Robert Davis is a journalist from Colorado. He covers defensive gun use and Second Amendment litigation for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at RobertDavis0414@gmail.com.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.