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Proposed assault weapons ban appears to be dead in Colorado Legislature

May 6, 2024, 9:58 pm
AR-15 assault rifle
This AR-15 assault rifle is banned in Vail but not around the state (wiki commons photo).

A proposed ban on “assault weapons” in Colorado appears dead in the Legislature.

A bill that would prohibit the sale, manufacture and transfer — but not possession — of assault weapons passed the state House of Representatives last month and was introduced in the Senate days later. But with the legislative session set to end Wednesday, the bill had yet to get a committee hearing in the upper chamber, and its Senate sponsor said Monday she intends to ask for the measure to be postponed indefinitely at a committee hearing Tuesday.

“After thoughtful conversations with my Senate colleagues, I decided that more conversations need to take place outside of the pressure cooker of the Capitol during the last weeks of the legislative session,” Sen. Julie Gonzales said in a statement to Newsline. “In that spirit, I look forward to renewing and continuing those discussions over the interim. It is clear that survivors of devastating gun violence, responsible gun owners, and local and national policy advocates remain committed to doing the work necessary to save lives — and an assault weapons ban will do just that.”

Gonzales said she plans to ask for the bill to be postponed indefinitely in the Senate State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee without a hearing or vote on the bill.

Democrats in the House last year attempted to pass an assault weapons ban, but the bill failed in committee. This year was the first time such a bill passed the full Colorado House. The chamber passed House Bill 24-1292 on a 35-27 vote. Every Republican present voted against it, joined by nine Democrats, who were mostly from rural or swing districts.

The bill was sponsored in the House by Democratic Rep. Elisabeth Epps of Denver, who also sponsored last year’s bill, and Democratic Rep. Tim Hernández of Denver.

Epps responded to Gonzales’ announcement in a message to Newsline: “Until legislators care as much about saving lives as they do about saving political seats—school children, educators, theater-goers and other Coloradans will continue to run from gunfire, while lawmakers run from hard conversations and tough votes.”

Gonzales expressed admiration for the House members’ work on the bill.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my colleagues in the House of Representatives for passing an assault weapons ban for the first time in Colorado history,” Gonzales said.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: info@coloradonewsline.com. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

One Response to Proposed assault weapons ban appears to be dead in Colorado Legislature

  1. Weefus Reply

    May 6, 2024 at 10:46 pm

    Voices of hate and fear are always louder than those of compassion and reason. We know what the archaic amendment says. I think we may also assume that the authors of the Constitution never meant for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to be replaced by the tyranny of terror enabled by a strategically marketed, offensively designed, muzzle-suppressed, high-velocity antipersonnel antipersonnel killing machine.

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