DENVER (AP) — An expanded gun ban for people convicted of certain domestic-violence offenses won initial approval in the Democratic Senate Friday.

The domestic-violence bill would add to state statute what is already federal law on guns and domestic violence offenders. Senators debated the measure for more than two hours to kick off a gun debate expected to last late into the night.

The domestic-violence measure would require people convicted of domestic-violence felonies or misdemeanors to relinquish firearms and ammunition. Supporters said the forfeitures would protect victims from future violence.

Republicans opposed the measure, arguing that it’s not necessary. Democrats rejected a GOP attempt to delay the debate until Monday and cleared it for a final vote required before the measure heads to the House.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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