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Lawmakers Hear Arguments Over Colorado’s Gun Laws

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DENVER (CBS4) – State lawmakers heard arguments over one of Colorado’s new gun laws on Monday night.

Some want to repeal the background check law that passed last year.

People on both sides of the issue spoke out in a legislative committee hearing.

“Now my constituents in Pueblo sent me here to give a message — they don’t like the gun laws,” said Sen. George Rivera.

Rivera is trying to repeal a law that cost his predecessor, Angela Giron, her job.

She is one of two lawmakers recalled over their support of last year’s gun laws.

Ron Sloan is the director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and he said there is a compelling public safety interest in upholding those laws.

“That compelling public interest is in terms of prevention,” said the Sloan.

According to the CBI there have been over 6,000 background checks on private gun sales or transfers since the law took effect and 120 of those were denied guns because of criminal backgrounds.

“I’m constantly amazed at individuals who attempt to purchase,” said Sloan.

Opponents say there is no evidence the laws have reduced violent crime and note that most people who undergo the background checks are law abiding citizens.

“(The new law) has brought about much hardship for dealers, caused strife among constituents and has absolutely no effect on the criminals who disregard the laws as they stood before the bill and who will continue to disregard the laws after,” said Matt Solomon from Alpine Arms.

Three years ago Karina Sartiaguin-Vargas was caught in the crossfire of gangs outside Aurora High school and was paralyzed by gunfire.

“Those who are against this bill might not think it’s a problem because they haven’t had a life changing event due to gun violence,” said Sartiaguin-Vargas.

She admitted she doesn’t know how the shooter got the gun.

“It only makes sense to keep background check loopholes closed. Then perhaps we can prevent more tragedies such as the one I experienced,” said Sartiaguin-Vargas.

With Democrats in control of both chambers it’s unlikely the laws will be repealed.

However, Democrats did indicate a willingness to change how much gun dealers can charge for background checks on private transfers.

One dealer testified it costs $50 to $100 to conduct the checks but they can only charge $10 by law.

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