Debate sparks in Denver as Republicans seek to lift gun restrictions

Megan Schrader -- The Gazette

DENVER - For almost two years Colorado has required those buying guns from private individuals to pass background checks, and the effectiveness of the checks has been a source of regular debate in the Capitol.

A look at the gun bills heard in Colorado Statehouse committees on Monday:

Senate Bill 86 - Would repeal the requirement that private individuals conduct a background check on individuals trying to purchase a gun. Defeated 7-4.

House Bill 1138 - Would exempt concealed handgun permit holders from having to undergo background checks when they buy guns from gun shows or licensed gun dealers. Defeated 7-2.

House Bill 1168 - Would remove a prohibition against carrying concealed handguns on property if the carrier has a valid concealed carry permit. Vote not yet taken.

Senate Bill 32 - Would allow handguns to be carried in a concealed manner without a permit. Vote not yet taken.

House Bill 1152 - Would allow handguns to be carried in a concealed manner without a permit. Vote not yet taken.

Senate Bill 175 - Would repeal the prohibition on high-capacity magazines that hold more than 15 bullets. Vote not yet taken.

The debate was sparked again Monday as Republican lawmakers tried to curtail several restrictions on gun owners with seven bills, including the repeal of background checks for private sales - which failed committee on a 7-4 vote - and an attempted repeal of a ban on handguns at public schools of those who have concealed handgun permits, which was rejected on a 7-2 vote.

Votes on the repeal of laws on magazine limits and four other bills had not been taken as of 10:15 p.m. Monday.

Rep. Janak Joshi, R-Colorado Springs, authored Senate Bill 86, which would have repealed Colorado's universal background checks and the associated $7 fee imposed on gun buyers.

"I'm surprised by the lack of data, science and evidence on this," Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Grand Junction, said, before voting in favor of the bill. "This is a constitutional right, and if you are going to impinge upon the constitution ... then you have the burden of proving to the citizens that it is working."

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