Colorado House passes bill banning so-called assault weapons

Federal court upholds Maryland's assault weapons ban
Posted at 4:33 PM, Apr 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 13:32:54-04

DENVER — Democrats in the Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill on Sunday that would ban so-called assault weapons.

House Bill 1292 passed largely along party lines on a 35-27 vote. It now heads to the state Senate.

HB24-1292, which is sponsored by State Reps. Elisabeth Epps and Tim Hernandez, would define “assault weapon” and ban the manufacture, import, sale, or purchase of such weapons in Colorado.

The bill would also ban the possession of rapid-fire trigger activators, which are devices that can be attached to a gun to increase the speed at which it fires.

Hernandez said Friday his background as a teacher and as the first Colorado state lawmaker from Gen Z (the generation born between 1997 and 2012) provides him with a perspective on guns that differs from most of his colleagues.

“We have been living with mass shootings for my entire life. We have been doing active shooter drills for my entire life. We have been waiting to die in schools because adults would not be bold enough on guns,” said Hernandez. “Then I finally became a teacher, and I sat with my students who were still afraid to die in schools because adults would still not be bold enough on guns.”

Republican lawmakers like State Rep. Matt Soper told Denver7 on Friday the bill violates the Second Amendment rights of Coloradans.

“I can tell you from rural Colorado, the one thing that people hold most dear would be their property and firearms are right there with it,” Soper said. “Firearms are very symbolic of our way of life, of who we are.”

State Rep. Richard Holtorf, a Republican who’s also running for Congress in the Fourth Congressional District, said he doesn’t believe many sheriffs in Colorado will enforce the legislation, should it become law.

“You need to understand that in the 64 counties, I would opine that about 47 of them will never, ever because of those to the Constitution enforce this statute,” said Holtorf.

The County Sheriffs of Colorado opposes the bill.

Its future in the Senate, where more moderate Democrats serve, is unclear.

Colorado House begins debate on 'assault weapons' ban bil

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