Friday brought a 12 hour debate on gun control in Colorado’s State Senate. Many of the measures which had been proposed and debated advanced, though two of them were withdrawn. Protesters filled the area around the capital, waving signs and honking horns in support of Second Amendment Rights, but even more action is called for this weekend, with the final votes on the bills scheduled to take place on Monday.
The two bills which were withdrawn were a college campus concealed carry ban (vote postponed until May), and one to make gun owners, manufacturers and sellers legally liable for crimes committed with weapons they had been involved with (including stolen weapons), even if they did nothing illegal. A high capacity magazine ban, a bill disallowing the use of online concealed carry classes to fulfill permit requirements, requiring people to pay a background check fee and universal background checks (amounting to a private sale ban) all passed. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, an activist and educational group, has long emphasized that the last measure would be completely unenforceable without gun registration and tracking, something which could easily lead to and facilitate even more extreme gun control measures such as confiscation. The bill would also prevent people passing guns down to their children or grandchildren.
The same group has been posting suggestions via social networks of other actions concerned citizens can take. These include calling Senators who have indicated their willingness to consider the issue, or at least openmindedness regarding it and attending State Senator Linda Newell town-hall meeting in Littleton this Saturday at 9am. The group’s Facebook page contains more information.
State Senators Angela Giron (SD03), Jeanne Nicholson (SD16), Cheri Jahn (SD20), Nancy Todd (SD28), Andy Kerr (SD22), Linda Newell (SD26) and Gail Schwartz (SD05) are the legislators Rocky Mountain Gun Owners asks that people contact, either via phone or email (information on both can be found on their Facebook page). In some cases it seems that only one to three changed votes are needed to overturn the bills.
At the end of a politically charged week which included a 12 hour filibuster in protest of Eric Holder’s declaration of Executive Branch authority to kill American citizens in drone strikes on American soil, as well as Charlie Rangel’s proposition to reinstate the draft, requiring every young American to perform two years of national or civilian service, all eyes are on a single state, Colorado. Businesses have said they would leave the state, and TV shows have said they would stop filming in the state if the measures pass. It won’t take many Democrats voting against the measures to defeat them, so these calls and displays could possibly sway Monday’s outcome.