Colorado’s New Gun Control Laws

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) signed three of the nation’s toughest gun control bills into law on March 20. The bills were recently passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature in what was portrayed as an attempt to reduce gun violence in the state. Bills to ban the sale of so-called assault weapons, to hold firearms manufacturers liable for damages caused by their products, and to repeal the right to carry a firearm on college campuses failed to gather the support necessary for passage.

The fees required for the transfer of all firearms were effective March 20, and the other two laws go into effect July 1, barring any successful legal challenges. Republican House leader Mark Waller said that Colorado Republicans are “disappointed” and maintain that Colorado Democrats are passing these laws “without any proof that banning this is going to have any impact on public safety.”

Fortunately, the bills were not quite as complex as President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare), so we didn’t have to take former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s advice of last June and “…pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it….” Of course, reading the Colorado bills didn’t necessarily make them any easier to understand. And that’s creating some serious controversy regarding their enforcement.

Let’s look at each:

Background Check Requirements

The new law states that private sales of firearms are subject to a background check conducted by a licensed firearms dealer. Under the new law, anyone selling or transferring a firearm, including private parties and online transactions, will be required to complete a background check on the person to whom the item is being sold or transferred. Transfers between family members and loans of a weapon for less than 72 hours are permitted as long as the transfer or loan doesn’t violate any other restrictions.  Sen. Scott Renfroe, a Greeley Republican, said he was ashamed of the chamber for voting in favor of a bill that he described as doing nothing to prevent crime.

User Fees for Background Checks

HB-1228 went into effect on March 20, 2013. It requires a fee to be collected during the sale of a firearm in Colorado. According to their web site, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is currently working with more than 1,000 Colorado licensed firearms dealers to finalize the process for the fee collection. Colorado citizens will pay a $10 fee during the sale/transfer of a firearm.

Some gun shop owners are saying they might not offer to run the background checks required by the law for private party sales because the $10 fee mandated in the law will not cover their cost of running them.  We are in the process of reviewing the statute and will determine if we will offer this service prior to July 1st.

Magazine Capacity Limits

This law creates a ban on ammunition magazines that are designed to carry more than 15 rounds or eight shotgun shells. The law also covers any magazine that can be converted to hold more than 15 rounds. Given that almost every magazine sold today is made with a removable base plate that allows for extensions, shop owners are questioning whether they will be able to sell even low-capacity magazines without violating the law.

 

Even the agencies charged with enforcing these laws aren’t sure how to do it. According to the CBI web site, “With the recent passage of bills related to firearms during the 2013 legislative session, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is working to create processes to address the implementation of those laws. Specifically, the CBI is creating the framework for conducting universal background checks, and the process by which fees will be collected related to firearms sales in the state.”

Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver) was quoted in the Denver Post as saying, “I think (these laws) will make it more difficult for people to get guns who shouldn’t have them, and that’s really the goal.” But in the same article, Republican Sen. Scott Renfroe countered, “We can make as many laws as we want. Until we change the hearts of man, they’re going to continue to do evil things.”

While we wait for more details pertaining to the implementation and enforcement of these new bills, you can be sure that the expert staff at BluCore Shooting Center is committed to continuing to offer the best value in shooting sports and self-defense to its customers. We encourage you to visit our web site often to learn about our latest offers on firearms, ammunition, accessories and training. Better yet, sign up online for our newsletter to get up-to-the-minute information on what’s happening at BluCore Shooting Center right in your e-mailbox.

You’re always welcome at our Lakewood facility located at 7860 W. Jewell Ave., just west of King Soopers at Jewell and Wadsworth. BluCore Shooting Center is open seven days a week, there is free parking, and we are always ready to show you why we’re Denver’s premier shooting facility.

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