Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

February 18, 2013

Colo. House passes gun-control measures

CHARLESTON — New ammunition limits and universal background checks passed the Colorado House on Monday, during a second day of emotional debates that has drawn attention from the White House as lawmakers try to address recent mass shootings.

The Democratic-controlled House approved a ban on large-capacity magazines, placing a limit of 15 rounds for firearms, and eight for shotguns. Three Democrats joined all Republicans voting no on the bill, but the proposal passed 34-31.

“Enough is enough. I’m sick and tired of bloodshed,” said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, a sponsor of the bill and representative of the district where the shootings at an Aurora theater happened last summer.

Republicans opposed the measure and others up for a final vote in the House, saying they restrict Second Amendment rights and won’t prevent mass shootings.

“This bill will never keep evil people from doing evil things,” said Republican Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, of Sterling.

The House also approved a bill requiring background checks on all gun purchases, including those between private sellers and firearms bought online. Democrats were more unified in their support of that bill, with only one of their members voting against it in the 36-29 vote.

Other proposals would ban concealed firearms on colleges, and require that gun purchasers pay for their own background checks. 

The Senate still needs to consider the proposals.

Lawmakers began the debate on the bills Friday, when they gave initial approval to the bills, setting up the final recorded votes Monday. Vice President Joe Biden called four Democrats on Friday during a daylong debate on the measures, including two freshmen legislators in moderate districts, to solidify support for the bills.

Democratic Rep. Dominick Moreno, who represents a district in suburban Denver, said Biden “emphasized the importance of Colorado’s role in shaping national policy around this issue.”

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