Colorado is one step closer to passing stricter gun control laws.
4 Democratic bills on gun control were passed through the Colorado state House on Monday according to the Denver Post. The bills, which limit high-capacity magazines to 15 rounds; require background checks for all gun transactions, including private sales; ban concealed weapons on college campuses; and require gun buyers to pay for the cost of their background checks, must now pass in the Democratically controlled state Senate.
All House Republicans voted against the bills, and several Democrats as well. Representative Ed Vigil, of Fort Garland, voted against all four bills, explaining that his family had come to Colorado in the 1850s, he said, “They carried weapons to settle this land. This is part of our heritage. I cannot turn my back on that.” Many republicans, and several democrats argued that stricter gun control laws were not needed, but instead the issue of mental health care should be addressed as a way of “quelling gun violence.”
A bill to address mental health issues in the state is set to be introduced to the House sometime next week by Denver Representative Beth McCann. She said, “We need to provide more tools for mental-health professionals so that they can have more of an active role in identifying people who might not be able to handle a gun. The intended bill would provide mental health professionals with “additional tools” to do just that. One aspect of the bill requires those who work with the mentally ill to notify the Colorado Bureau of Investigation if it is determined a person is a threat to themselves or to others. There name would then be placed in the database set up for background checks, which would make it illegal for them to purchase a gun within the state.
All 4 of the bills that were just passed will now move on to the state Senate, where they will be assigned to committees, and could be voted on as early as next week. If they pass, they will then move on to be signed in to law by Governor John Hickenlooper, who is a strong supporter of stricter gun control laws and has already said that he backs the bills.