Four gun control bills up for vote at State Capitol

DENVER - A Democratic gun-control package headed for a fierce debate Friday in the Colorado House largely has the support of Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The governor asked lawmakers to approve expanded background checks, one of four proposals up for debate Friday. Hickenlooper gave his first public indication Thursday about the other gun controls, including ammunition limits and new fees for gun purchasers.

Hickenlooper told reporters that he wasn't sure exactly where magazine sizes should be capped, but he said "there might be a number there" he'd support. The bill before lawmakers sets a 15-round limit for handgun magazines.

Lawmakers in the House will be debating four bills:

  • Bans 15+ round capacity magazines
  • Ban concealed weapons from college campuses
  • Fee for all background checks
  • Background checks for all gun transfers

Hickenlooper said it's reasonable to ask gun buyers to pay for their own background checks.

Hickenlooper said he hasn't yet made up his mind about banning concealed weapons on public college campuses.

Republicans voiced concern on Thursday that their voices were being kept silent, with debate being cut short in committee.

"The minority has a right to make its point and the minority has a right to ask questions and to challenge the majoritarian agenda, and what we have here is a majoritarian agenda that they're trying to steamroll through as quickly as possible," said State Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs.

House Speaker State Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, promised unlimited and unfiltered debate.

"If it takes two hours, that's great. If it takes 20 hours, that's great. I don't want to allow the shutting of people's ideas and opinions," said Ferrandino.