DENVER - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he will sign gun control measures Wednesday that restrict the size of gun magazines and expand background checks for firearms buyers.
Hickenlooper’s spokesman, Eric Brown, told 7NEWS the governor will sign the bills on Wednesday.
The signing will be a victory for Democrats in the debate over gun control in this politically moderate state where gun ownership has been a treasured right.
Opponents of the bills aren’t giving up the fight.
They continue to run radio ads and to post messages on the Web encouraging residents to call or email the governor’s office to tell him to veto the measures.
“If Governor Hickenlooper is serious about his political future as a second-term governor in Colorado, he will veto this legislation,” said Tony Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association, which is the local chapter of the National Rifle Association.
Fabian said if House Bill 1224, which limits magazines to a maximum 15 rounds, is signed into law, it will cost Colorado jobs and tourist money.
“Hunters will avoid coming here,” Fabian said. “Weapons accessories manufacturers have already threatened to leave.”
Almost immediately after the announcement that Hickenlooper would sign HB1224, a company that manufactures magazines posted to Facebook that it plans to move out of state.
"We will start our transition out of the state almost immediately, and we will prioritize moving magazine manufacturing operations first," Magpul Industries posted.
The proposals were Democratic centerpieces in the party's package of gun legislation aimed at addressing mass shootings at an Aurora movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school last year. The bills would become effective July 1.
Republicans strongly opposed the bills, saying they will not prevent violent crime and will hurt law-abiding citizens' ability to protect themselves.
“A majority of Coloradans oppose these bills,” Fabian said.
But H.B. 1224’s sponsor, Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, told 7NEWS that polls show a majority of Coloradans and Americans support sensible gun legislation.
Fields said she doesn’t anticipate that the campaign seeking a gubernatorial veto will work.
“I hope not,” she said. “There’s been a lot of very careful and thoughtful debate on all of these bills, and I think they’re ready to be signed into law for the state of Colorado.