DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado state lawmakers aren’t waiting for Congress to take action on gun control — they are moving on their own.
In just eight days, four gun bills have been introduced at the state Capitol, and there are at least four others yet to come. But despite the national outcry and despite Democrats being in control this session, getting any gun legislation done in Colorado will be an uphill battle.
Not since Columbine has a major gun control bill passed in Colorado.
“I know going to be fighting very, very hard to make sure that we get something done,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.
Fields will introduce a bill requiring background checks on all gun sales and is working on another bill to limit high-capacity magazines. But she has yet to win over even key Democrats.
“How does a limit on high-capacity magazines reduce violence?” Democratic Senate President John Morse said.
Morse said he’s not convinced fewer bullets or more background checks are the answer, and Republicans sure don’t think so.
“Honestly, it’s like giving a cancer patient a placebo. It won’t help them. It might make them think your helping them, but it won’t make kids safer at school,” said Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray.
Brophy and the GOP are instead pushing bills that would make some businesses liable if they don’t have armed guards; and allow teachers to carry concealed weapons. So far, those bills aren’t going anywhere at the Capitol.
“So far, you know, we’ve just said, ‘Let’s add more guns.’ And all that’s going to do is add more shootings,” Morse said.
Morse would like a ban on assault weapons, but even if that gets done, Gov. John Hickenlooper may veto it.
“I agree that figuring out how to ban assault weapons is a very difficult issue,” Morse said.
Fields remains hopeful.
“I think we have a responsibility to do something, and doing nothing is just not an option for me,” Fields said.
Fields and Morse say they’re receiving 20-plus calls and emails a day on both sides of the debate. The governor’s office has been flooded with calls as well.
So far, the only legislation Hickenlooper has said he supports is the background checks, and right now it’s the only bill that has a good chance of passing.