Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Colorado governor signs landmark gun bills

Colorado governor signs landmark gun bills

Exactly eight months after dozens of people were shot in a Colorado movie theater, the state's Democratic governor on Wednesday signed new restrictions on firearms in the state.
It is a big change for Democrats who have traditionally shied away from taking on gun control in a western state where owning a gun is as common as owning a car in some rural areas.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed new limits on ammunition magazines and a landmark expansion of background checks on Wednesday in his office, surrounded by legislative sponsors and their guests. The signings mark a significant moment in Colorado, a state with a libertarian tradition of self-reliance.
Over the last month, Colorado has been viewed as a test for how far states are willing to go on new restrictions after the horror of shootings at a Connecticut elementary school and in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. There, on July 20, a gunman dressed in body armor and carrying an arsenal of firearms killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others during a midnight showing of a "Dark Knight" Batman film.
Then in December, a massacre at a Connecticut school left 28 dead and revived gun control as a top issue. President Barack Obama proposed several gun safety measures a month later in response.
Despite the president's backing, a push for a federal assault weapons ban has faltered in Washington, where the National Rifle Association gun lobby has powerful allies, especially in the Republican party. Senate Democrats decided that the ban won't be part of the gun control bill because it didn't have enough support to pass.
Many Democrats think a national ban on large-capacity magazines has a better chance of getting more support. Other measures under consideration in the Senate would expand required federal background checks for firearms buyers, increase federal penalties for illegal gun trafficking and increase money for school safety.
The states, meanwhile, are free to impose their own restrictions that can be stricter than anything Congress might pass.
Even before Obama presented his proposals, New York quickly passed the nation's toughest gun laws, strengthening its assault weapons ban and adding new restrictions on ammunition and the sale of guns.
California lawmakers have vowed to pass a package of gun control measures that is even tougher than New York's. And in Connecticut, a law that would require universal background checks is moving through the state legislature.
In Colorado, gun violence was again in the news Wednesday, as police searched for a gunman who shot and killed the state's prisons director when he answered the front door of his home. Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements was appointed by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2011.
Hickenlooper, a gun rights advocate, and other state Democrats were convinced by the recent string of mass shootings to take on gun control.
"I am happy the governor is signing common-sense legislation that reduces gun violence in our communities by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic violence offenders and the seriously mentally ill," said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, who represents the district where the theater shooting happened.
Colorado Democrats have succeeded where other lawmakers outside of New York have not.
This month, Washington state's Democrat-controlled House of Representatives couldn't advance a universal background check bill. A bill requiring background checks at gun shows in New Mexico also failed in the Democrat-led legislature.
In Colorado, gun sales and transfers between private parties and purchases conducted online will be subjected to background checks. Ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds will be banned and subject to criminal penalties. Both bills take effect July 1.
Republicans have warned that voters will punish Hickenlooper and other Democrats who voted in favor of the measures.
"I'm telling you, they have overreached, and there are going to be electoral consequences," said Republican Sen. Greg Brophy.
A Colorado-based manufacturer of magazines plans to relocate because of the new restrictions. Republicans have bashed Democrats, saying their proposal to limit magazine sizes will drive jobs from the state, and ultimately won't prevent criminals from getting larger magazines in other states.
Some county sheriffs also opposed the new background checks, arguing they're unenforceable and endanger people's constitutional rights. Two ballot measures have already been proposed to try to undo the gun restrictions.
___
Associated Press writers Ivan Moreno and Kristen Wyatt contributed.
___
http://twitter.com/IvanJourno


Updated : 2021-05-12 01:58 GMT+08:00