DENVER (AP) – Survivors of gun violence and activists testified at Colorado’s state capitol Monday against a Republican-led attempt to expand gun rights and ease controls adopted after mass shootings in 2012.
“Here it is, deja vu,” said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, referring to annual GOP attempts to expand access to firearms. “If these laws stop the taking of one life … that means they’re working,” said the Aurora lawmaker, whose son was slain in 2005.
A Democrat-led state House committee hearing the five bills was expected to reject most, if not all of them. One proposal not brought up this year: A repeal of state background checks for all private sales.
“We will continue to show up year after year” to defend gun controls, said Jane Dougherty, whose sister Mary Sherlach was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012. Also testifying was Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shootings.
Colorado was one of the only states to pass laws that limited the size of ammunition magazines and expanded background checks after the Sandy Hook and Colorado movie theater shootings, in which dozens were killed and wounded. Democrats controlled both state chambers at the time; the GOP now controls the state Senate.
Under consideration Monday:
– Allowing concealed carry of handguns on public school grounds. GOP Rep. Paul Neville of Littleton said such a law could deter shooters.
– Repealing a 15-round magazine limit adopted in 2013.
– Allowing active-duty military personnel to carry concealed handguns without permits.
– Removing all permits for concealed carry.
– Expanding protections against prosecution when a business owner or employee uses deadly force against an intruder. Homeowners have that protection.
– By JAMES ANDERSON, AP Writer
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