Colorado Gun Violence Prevention Package Passes Both Houses

Both houses of the Colorado legislature have passed a package of gun violence prevention measures, including a measure to limit ammunition magazines. While a universal background checks measure is still pending in a conference committee, passage of the four bills would mark a significant step forward for a state whose gun reform movements have stalled even though the state has been the site of several of the deadliest and most high-profile mass shootings. Reuters reports:

The most controversial of the bills that are now headed to the desk of Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper is a ban on ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds, which the governor said he will sign into law. […]

Other bills included in the package of gun-control laws approved by Colorado lawmakers included a measure to make firearm buyers pay for their own background checks and a ban on online certification for concealed-carry permits, both of which Hickenlooper has said he supports.

Another measure would bar gun purchases by people convicted of domestic violence crimes. Hickenlooper had previously said he was undecided about that until he could see the final version.

One remaining gun-control measure to require background checks for all firearms transfers was sent to a conference committee on Wednesday, so that both chambers could hash out differences between the Senate and House versions.

The proposals that won final approval on Wednesday had received little Republican support.

The measure limiting ammunition sales is already prompting backlash from conservative legislators, who said a day after its passage that they will move for a 2014 ballot initiative to repeal the law.

In January, New York became the first state to enact comprehensive legislation in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. But in spite of public opinion that is shifting toward support for universal background checks and other sensible gun violence prevention measures, several states including Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, and Arizona have actually moved to relax firearms laws since the Newtown tragedy, while others are pushing unconstitutional nullification measures claiming to thwart federal attempts to take away guns.