Following the massacre in Las Vegas in early October, the debate over gun regulation has surfaced once more in hopes of trying to avoid another mass shooting. The deliberation on whether or not to ban bump stocks, the accessory the gunman had used to convert his rifles into automatic weapons, is a new addition to the conversation. Despite this new element in the gun regulation discussion, there is value in first understanding the laws and introduced bills in one’s state of residence to see what actions are currently being taken to avoid another fatal event.
In early 2013, Colorado legislators passed House Bill 1224 which banned large capacity ammunition magazines. The magazine’s in question included those that could carry more than 15 rounds of ammunition, more than 28 inches of shells in the case of shotguns and magazines that could hold eight shotgun shells in addition to a fixed magazine. This legislation took place three months after the Newtown school shooting and about a year after the in-state Aurora theater shooting.
Since then, Colorado legislators have also stopped bills aimed to repeal this regulation. Last January, two bills (Senate Bill 7 and 8) were introduced in the Colorado Legislature one aiming to permit large capacity magazine and the latter eliminating a part of that House Bill 1224 that prohibited gravity knives and switchblades.
Three other gun bills were killed in February: House Bill 1036, 1037 and 1097. House Bill 1036 aimed to allow the carrying of a concealed handgun in public schools. Bill 1037 would have allowed business employees to use force against someone who they may see as a threat, whether or not the suspect is committing a crime or physical violence. The final bill, like Senate Bill 7, also wanted to remove the large magazine ban.
The most notable gun laws Colorado currently implements, in addition to the large magazine ban, include the requiring of a background check before licensed/unlicensed firearm transfers and the surrendering of firearms from people convicted of domestic abuse.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Colorado is ranked fourteenth place in terms of strongest to weakest gun control laws. The center gave it a “C” grade and lists the state’s gun death rate of 12.5 per 100,000 people. For a visual comparing Colorado’s gun to the rest of the U.S., NPR created some charts each describing gun laws by state.