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Two More Gun Bills Pass



The final two bills of the Democrats' gun package passed the House early Monday, marking another chapter in one of the most contentious issues lawmakers have battled in recent years.

One measure involves training for concealed-weapons permit holders; the other the collection of firearms for those convicted of certain domestic violence offenses or those under a restraining order.

The training measure will go directly to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who already has signed three gun bills into law, while the other has been amended and must go back to the Senate for approval.

The training measure, by Rep. Jenise May of Aurora, is the only one of seven gun bills originally introduced by Democrats — who control both the House and the Senate — that has received any Republican backing.

Senate Bill 195 passed Monday on a 40-24 vote with three Republicans in the 28-member caucus voting with 37 Democrats for the measure. The Republican "yes" votes were Reps. Kathleen Conti of Littleton, Cheri Gerou of Evergreen and Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs.

The Senate in March passed the bill with support from two lawmakers in the 15-member GOP caucus: Sens. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud and Ellen Roberts of Durango.

House Republicans on Friday put up more of a fight against the domestic-violence gun bill, Senate Bill 197, although supporters pointed out federal law already outlaws those convicted of certain domestic-violence offenses or under a restraining order from possessing firearms.

The bill passed the House 36-27, with one Democrat, Ed Vigil of Fort Garland, joining Republicans in opposing the measure.

The Senate in March passed the bill on a party-line vote, with all Democrats in favor and all Republicans opposed.

As for the other gun bills, two measures — one assigning liability for assault weapons, the other banning concealed carry in campus buildings — were killed by their sponsors.

The three bills that Hickenlooper signed into law limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds; institute universal background checks for the sale and transfer of weapons; and require gun customers to pay for the costs of their background checks.