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Fired up about new gun control legislation (CO)
THE COLORADO STATESMAN ^ | 11/30/2012 | Peter Marcus

Posted on 12/03/2012 9:57:46 AM PST by neverdem

Governor’s office working with legislators, gun control activists

A group of gun control activists have been working with the governor’s office and lawmakers on a package of bills for the upcoming legislative session. The measures take aim at curbing firearm possession by the mentally ill, statewide bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips purchased online, and prohibiting handguns on college campuses.

The coalition — which includes Colorado Ceasefire, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Sane Alternatives to the Firearms Epidemic (SAFE Colorado) — is currently narrowing down a list of about 20 proposals. Only four of the recommendations on the wish list have gained traction, and final drafts are still being crafted.

Reps. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Beth McCann, D-Denver, have taken the lead on the proposed legislation. Fields said she is working on finding the right balance, especially concerning a ban on assault weapons. She would like to define certain assault weapons to target specific models. As a result, she has pulled her draft back to take a more measured approach.

“It was on the table, but it’s been removed right now. We’re finding it difficult as it relates to defining what an assault weapon is,” explained Fields. “When you look at how it’s defined, so many people have assault weapons, so we are trying to narrow down the scope and maybe look at one specific type of ban, not banning all assault weapons.”

Fields — who lost her son to gun violence in Aurora in 2005 — says she is moving forward with her proposal to ban the online sale of high-capacity ammunition clips, and is working on a final draft.

She will also work with McCann on the mental health issue. McCann was traveling in Australia and New Zealand and was unavailable to comment extensively on the bills, but she did confirm her participation in the process.

Perhaps the greatest momentum for legislation could come from Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office, which has been working with Fields, McCann and the gun control coalition, specifically on the mental health component. The governor’s office confirmed that discussions have been taking place, but would not comment beyond that.

Fields — whose district includes the part of Aurora where an accused gunman opened fire at a movie theater on July 20 — said that she has been talking to the governor about the issue: “He would be interested in something like that if we can come up with the right policy,” she said of boosting the state’s mental health reporting laws. “We have to have all the professional providers on board with what might change.”

Lawmakers could strengthen existing law, or create new laws addressing handguns and the mentally ill. Some proposals include instituting universal background checks, ensuring all adjudicated mentally ill names appear on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, empowering mental health therapists to put holds on gun purchases and possession, requiring the confiscation of guns from domestic violence offenders, instituting a waiting period on background checks, releasing mental health records for background checks, and prohibiting the purchase and possession of weapons by violent misdemeanants.

“I’m definitely going to work with [Hickenlooper] once I get it defined and get all the stakeholders,” added Fields. “I’m going to want him to take a look at it… to see if this is something that they can live with.”

Gun control advocates criticized Hickenlooper, a Democrat, over the summer following the horrific mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora. The senseless incident left 12 dead and 58 injured. Hickenlooper said on CNN following the massacre that, “This person, if there were no assault weapons available, if there were no other this or that, this guy’s going to find something, right? He’s going to know how to create a bomb.”

Control activists pounced on the governor, suggesting that his comment indicated a resistance to gun control. Their concerns intensified as information came out about the suspect, James Holmes, who apparently met with a psychiatrist the month before the shooting. The information led to questions about strengthening the state’s mental health reporting laws

Eileen McCarron, spokeswoman for Colorado Ceasefire, said she and other stakeholders are encouraged by the governor’s participation. She applauded him for reaching out to her group, which also includes high-profile gun control activist Tom Mauser, who lost his son in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

“It was like he was reading out of the NRA manual when he comes out and says these things,” McCarron said of Hickenlooper. “But then he moved to saying stuff about the mentally ill, and we felt like at least he’s making some moves… I think he’s had an earful from many people.”

A separate bill by Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, would address the issue of guns on campus. Levy said that she is working with the same group of stakeholders on the bill, but that the measure probably won’t be part of the larger package of legislation.

Her proposal simply seeks to give university systems in Colorado the authority to ban guns on campus. The measure comes after the Colorado Supreme Court in March ruled that the University of Colorado Board of Regents overstepped its authority in blocking students from carrying licensed concealed weapons.

“That was a statutory interpretation, and it was not a Second Amendment decision,” explained Levy. “It was an interpretation of a statute, and the question was whether CU, specifically, was preempted under the language that refers to local governments… I’ll just change the law.”

Diminished gun lobby power?

Levy — as is the case with other gun control advocates — is not overly concerned about resistance from the gun lobby. Pro-gun groups in Colorado include the National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (also known nationally as the National Association for Gun Rights), and the Firearms Coalition of Colorado.

Levy believes the gun lobby has lost some of its power — not only in Colorado, but also across the nation — and she therefore believes gun control advocates have their best shot in years to pass reform. Activists are also benefited by a legislature that will be in Democratic control come Jan. 9.

“The NRA, pardon the pun, goes ballistic over everything,” quipped Levy. “I know going into a bill like this that I will have a lot of opposition; I know there will be attempts to obfuscate the issue and make it a Second Amendment issue, which it is not; I know that there will be all kinds of arguments about safety and the right to self defense, I expect that. But I think reasonable people would agree that we shouldn’t have guns in our classrooms.”

Colorado Ceasefire points out that the NRA spent nearly $12 million this year backing candidates in federal races, but that only 0.81 percent of that money went to winning candidates. Colorado Ceasefire, on the other hand, endorsed 48 candidates, and 69 percent of them were victorious. The organization also donated money to 21 candidates, and 20 of them, or about 95 percent, came out winners.

“I’m more hopeful than any time since I’ve lived in Colorado, and that’s since 1999, that we can get something done,” exclaimed McCarron. “The horror of what happened in Aurora, it’s just inexcusable that we have some of this weaponry in civilian hands.”

Gun control advocates have also called in reinforcements to push their effort over the top. John Head, a Denver attorney who helped lead the successful 2000 ballot initiative drive to require background checks at gun shows, has reassembled SAFE Colorado at the request of stakeholders. He worked with Mauser and Democratic consultant Arnie Grossman on the campaign at the time. Head says he’s back to continue the fight.

“When my phone starts ringing, when I answer it, I need to think there’s something there that needs to be addressed. The more you talk to people, the more you hear. And the number of people involved is much more than it was 12 years ago,” said Head, a moderate Republican who attempted to bridge partisan divides through SAFE Colorado.

“I believe that the awareness of the problem and concern about it is much more than what we had 12 years ago,” he continued, referring to Columbine. “That was a very traumatic event for a lot of people, it woke people up, but now we’ve got average people much more concerned about the threat to safety.”

The gun lobby, however, does not believe that it is losing steam. Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA, said after every election cycle, gun control sympathizers try to paint the NRA and other gun lobbies as being insignificant.

“They basically try the same thing every election cycle,” he said, adding that the study Colorado Ceasefire cited is a “rudimentary bang for your buck” report. “The reality is that at the federal level, our success rate was 80 percent, and that’s in terms of looking at the ratio of endorsed candidates to victory.”

“There’s a variety of people who enjoy writing the obituary for the National Rifle Association, only to find out that they’re woefully wrong,” declared Arulanandam.

“The American people are on the side of the NRA because they understand that our approach is common sense,” he added.

Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Association for Gun Rights — both conservative organizations — warned against underestimating the power and tenacity of the gun lobby in Colorado.

“I encourage them to go for the gusto, because the truth is this, if they want to lose the majority that they just gained, I strongly suggest that they charge full ahead into bans on firearms and major gun control,” declared Brown. “That’s a perfect way for them to lose the majority immediately.”

Peter@coloradostatesman.com


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: California; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: banglist

1 posted on 12/03/2012 9:57:49 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

The result of being Califoricated.


2 posted on 12/03/2012 9:59:57 AM PST by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: neverdem

This is what happens when morons run for office and get elected by other morons.


3 posted on 12/03/2012 10:02:53 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: Mouton

Really! I was born in Denverand graduated CU Boulder in the 70’s. You couldn’t drag me back there.


4 posted on 12/03/2012 10:03:52 AM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: Mouton

Agree. Years ago, when Colorado had a particularly bad infestation of California libs, the most popular bumper sticker was “Don’t Californicate Colorado.”

States that still have a chance of survival should have entrance exams for CA ex-residents...if liberal, they should be banned and sent back home to their cesspool state.

After all, they chose to take a bodacious stinky Obama in their yards, now they should be forced to eat it.


5 posted on 12/03/2012 10:04:00 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: neverdem
Some proposals include instituting universal background checks, ensuring all adjudicated mentally ill names appear on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, empowering mental health therapists to put holds on gun purchases and possession, requiring the confiscation of guns from domestic violence offenders, instituting a waiting period on background checks, releasing mental health records for background checks, and prohibiting the purchase and possession of weapons by violent misdemeanants.

Wow! I'm sure glad these "universal" background checks will prevent the mentally ill from buying guns from the shady guy in the black van! I feel so much safer now! /sarcasm off

6 posted on 12/03/2012 10:09:09 AM PST by apillar
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To: neverdem

Don’t the Republicans still control the state house?


7 posted on 12/03/2012 10:09:16 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Pennies and Nickels will NO LONGER be Minted as of 1/1/13 - Tim Geithner, US Treasury Sect)
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To: neverdem

Colorado has been a leftward swerving state for a long time. They’re just coming out of the closet to emerge as a true blue state.

Too bad.


8 posted on 12/03/2012 10:13:10 AM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: Da Coyote
After all, they chose to take a bodacious stinky Obama in their yards, now they should be forced to eat it.

(This is not directed to you, but opening a discusion point) If we believe that Colorado has been "Californicated" and is turning into a "lite" version of Taxifornia, is this not the same thing that the illegals are doing in America?

They left their different cesspools of countries to come here and, everywhere that they have large populations, those cities have become cesspools reminiscent of the one they left behind!!

9 posted on 12/03/2012 10:18:59 AM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: neverdem

If it makes them any happier, I’d go with a ban on “high capacity” clips as long as they don’t mess with magazines! Maybe they could also ban grapeshot and mortars to help build their sense of self righteousness.


10 posted on 12/03/2012 10:20:35 AM PST by zagger
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To: neverdem

Some in Colorado want to pass a law to prevent selling of some guns and ammo.

While we in Texas have a bill to go through out legislature next year when they are in session, to allow OPEN CARRY. We already have concealed carry.

We also have a law that allows a home owner to use deadly force if anyone invades the home.


11 posted on 12/03/2012 10:21:20 AM PST by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today.)
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To: george76; jan in Colorado; colorado tanker; coloradan; dljordan; Colorado Buckeye; GraceG; ...
Will the missing white voters finally wake up?

The rats had been laying low about gun grabbing since 2006 when they took over Congress, with the exception of true believers like Bloomberg who was originally a rat.

They thought they had to move to the middle to take the Congress in 2006. Ditto in 2008 when they expanded thier majorities. Obama acted like the pragmatic centrist to win in 2008. Now the left thinks they can be hard charging on their true beliefs, IMHO.

12 posted on 12/03/2012 10:29:02 AM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: zagger
I’d go with a ban on “high capacity” clips as long as they don’t mess with magazines!

Yea I could live with not putting a 30 round clip in my Garand! / sarc

13 posted on 12/03/2012 10:32:09 AM PST by JD91
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To: neverdem

I don’t trust a government that doesn’t trust me.


14 posted on 12/03/2012 10:32:30 AM PST by Tzimisce (What do you do when every every branch of the government is corrupt and aligned against you?)
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To: neverdem

When these clowns have agreement from the Psych Ward lobby, that they are will to make assessments and provide records as to who is sufficiently “unstable”, as to be denied a weapon, then we’ll talk.

The simple fact is that the coalition of Shrinks, will have nothing to do with providing names of those who should be restricted.

Meanwhile, leave us “normal” folks alone.


15 posted on 12/03/2012 10:44:12 AM PST by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Though it looks like they are the new “modern” Republicans that the media promotes as the “future” of the Republican Party in general.


16 posted on 12/03/2012 10:52:43 AM PST by Republican1795.
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To: neverdem
I wish I could remember what idiot freeper told me that "the Dems will never pursue gun control because it's a loser for them."

Gun control is built into Democrat DNA. As long as there are taxes to be raised and squandered and votes to be bought, Democrats will want gun control.

17 posted on 12/03/2012 11:05:47 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Don’t the Republicans still control the state house?

Until January.

18 posted on 12/03/2012 11:07:08 AM PST by Red Steel
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To: neverdem
“I encourage them to go for the gusto, because the truth is this, if they want to lose the majority that they just gained, I strongly suggest that they charge full ahead into bans on firearms and major gun control,” declared Brown. “That’s a perfect way for them to lose the majority immediately.”

Likely true.

19 posted on 12/03/2012 11:11:30 AM PST by Red Steel
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Don’t the Republicans still control the state house?

"Activists are also benefited by a legislature that will be in Democratic control come Jan. 9."

20 posted on 12/03/2012 11:32:50 AM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: DustyMoment

“...(This is not directed to you, but opening a discusion point) If we believe that Colorado has been “Californicated” and is turning into a “lite” version of Taxifornia, is this not the same thing that the illegals are doing in America?...”

I agree totally. The sleezy CA libs did set the stage by going their normal “thing” of making sure that state legislators showed “compassion” by letting the illegals in and making sure that they have means to vote (legal or otherwise). I cannot remember whether or not CO rep boffins have tried the old “in-state tuition” gambit yet. If they haven’t, they will.


21 posted on 12/03/2012 11:52:56 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: neverdem
I had hoped Tom Mauser had gone away for good...

I think it's about time to resurrect the Tyranny Response Team.

22 posted on 12/03/2012 11:54:31 AM PST by real saxophonist (Stay In The Fight)
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To: real saxophonist
I think it's about time to resurrect the Tyranny Response Team.

I'm in. Let's not go unarmed this time, shall we?

23 posted on 12/03/2012 12:46:35 PM PST by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: zagger
I’d go with a ban on “high capacity” clips as long as they don’t mess with magazines!

Heck with that noise! I own a Garand and there is no way I'm letting any polecat politician cut my round count from 8 to four in my Garand CLIP.

24 posted on 12/03/2012 1:20:30 PM PST by ExSoldier (Stand up and be counted... OR LINE UP AND BE NUMBERED...)
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To: ExSoldier

My Enfield CLIP holds ten!!


25 posted on 12/03/2012 2:08:05 PM PST by MountainYankee
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To: from occupied ga

The recent election/unpleasantness must have given both state houses to Democrat control for the anti-gunners to be so fired up. The governor, although Democrat, has been OK with guns in the past, any chance he would use his veto to protect gun rights?


26 posted on 12/03/2012 2:08:11 PM PST by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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To: RicocheT

In ga both houses are controlled by Republicans. Don’t know that much about CO other than they’re obviously a lot of idiots there


27 posted on 12/03/2012 3:51:18 PM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: neverdem

Hmmm... thought the people of Colorado were more intelligent than this.


28 posted on 12/03/2012 4:53:56 PM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: ExSoldier
Well, to be fair the proposed legislation was to ban high capacity clips. The 8-round clip for the Garand is only of normal capacity, as are, for that matter, the 30 round magazines (and 175-round drums) for AR-15s (if we are to assume that the ignorami supporting this legislation don't know their clips from their magazines).
29 posted on 12/03/2012 5:47:09 PM PST by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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