Gun Control: Pivotal Votes in Colorado over Gun-Control Measures Expected Friday; Could be a Measuring Stick for Other States
Mar 08, 2013 12:15 PM EST
Colorado Democrats seem to have the advantage with advancing aggressive gun-control proposals on Friday in a state that has seen its share of horrendous shootings. The debate playing out in Colorado is being watched closely because its moderate political makeup makes it a testing ground to see how far the nation is willing to go with new gun laws, according to the Associated Press .
The Senate is ready to take up seven Democratic gun-control measures in a long debate expected to last late into Friday night. While Democrats hold a 20-15 advantage in the chamber, they now have a narrow margin to pass the bills, the AP reported. Republicans need just three Democrats to vote "no" in order to defeat a bill; two Democrats have already expressed opposition to some of the measures.
Among the more controversial bills pending is a proposal to end Colorado's unusual practice of allowing concealed weapons on public college campuses. Also on the table would set liability standards for sellers and owners of assault weapons for crimes.
Officials at a company that manufactures magazines said if the bill passes they will leave, and take hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue with them.
"The world changed largely in Colorado in July with the Aurora theater shooting," Senate President John Morse said Thursday. "But when you've got 20 6-and-7 year old kindergartners that are massacred on December 14, [at Newtown elementary school]. I mean that just seared the consciousness of this generation and I think you're seeing huge changes in the way people view gun violence and the way that we ought to be approaching it."
Gun control opponents say the proposals will not reduce violence. They say lawmakers should focus on strengthening access to mental health services for people who could be dangerous to communities.