Gun laws back up for debate at state legislature

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Gun control and the laws implemented by a democratic majority in the state house and senate two years ago are being hotly debated once again.

Republicans now hold control of the senate in the state legislature and they're taking the first steps to undo several gun laws passed in 2013.

The first issue republicans hope to tackle is getting rid of the ban on ammunition magazines. Right now, it’s illegal to have a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds.

The second issue they want to address is requiring background checks for firearm sales conducted online and between private sellers.

It’s a law that has been debated since it was passed in 2013, and now it’s on the agenda once again, whether ammunition magazines should be limited to 15 rounds and under.

Jerry Stehman, Owner of Jerry’s Outdoor world said it’s not a law that has been enforceable and in his opinion it's unnecessary.

“The magazine restriction it isn't working in this state, I guarantee you it’s not working in this state and it just doesn't work figures show it does not reduce crime,” said Stehman.

Stehman says he thinks the laws have not been effective in stopping people from buying magazines of 15 rounds or higher.

The 2013 laws were the state's response to several mass shootings that had taken place; something Stehman said can't be stopped with a restriction on magazine size.

"I don't think it matters if it had a 3 round magazine or 20 round magazines they're going to do what they’re going to do," said Stehman.

But for Diana Pace - who is an avid hunter and has her license to carry a concealed weapon - says the laws serve a necessary purpose and do their part to keep people safe.

"I just think for what we use guns for less than 15 is perfect," said Pace.

Pace also said that getting rid of background checks for online gun sales and sales between private sellers would be a mistake.

When these laws went into effect in 2013 people who already had magazines with more than 15 rounds were grandfathered into the system. Meaning that for those people it's not illegal in the state of Colorado for them to have larger magazines.

On Monday, a Senate committee passed the repeal bill on a 3-2 vote and advanced it to another panel. It still faces several legislative hurdles and could be blocked by Democrats who control the state House.



 
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