by Beecher Threatt
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed three bills in the Colorado Democrats' gun legislation package on Wednesday.
HB13-1224, which places restrictions on the sale, transfer and possession of ammunition magazines capable of accepting more than 15 rounds of ammunition or eight shotgun shells, went to the governor after the House accepted Senate amendments and repassed it.
Senate amendments clarified the definition of "large-capacity magazine," expanded persons who are exempt from the new restrictions and changed the requirement of a serial number and date on such magazines. The shotgun shells limit now prohibits 28 inches of shells in a magazine and nontubular, detachable magazines capable of holding more than eight shells.
The prohibitions in the statute do not apply to a manufacturer, a licensed gun dealer, or employees of either, that sell exclusively to the armed forces, agencies or subdivisions of any state, approved foreign national governments, out-of-state transferees that can legally possess such magazines or a person who transports such magazines out of state on behalf of the manufacturer.
Such magazines manufactured in Colorado after the statute is effective must imprint a "permanent stamp or marking" indicating the date of manufacture, changed from a requirement that a serial number and date be imprinted.
Current owners of such devices are grandfathered in.
Save Our Shotguns, a nonprofit organization, recently announced it will circulate a referendum petition to place HB13-1224 on the ballot for a statewide public vote.
On Mar. 15, both the Colorado House and Senate approved a conference committee version of HB13-1229, also signed by Hickenlooper on Wednesday. The bill requires anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer and who intends to transfer a firearm to obtain a background check of the transferee and get approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for the transfer, with some exceptions. Transferors would use the services of licensed gun dealers to conduct the checks.
Senate amendments exempt from the check requirement gifts between immediate family members; temporary transfers, such as from a gun owner who will be deployed within 30 days; and, transfers for less than 72 hours (although the owner may be held liable if the transferee illegally uses the firearm).
As originally written, the bill also exempts antique firearm transfers; transfers by a representative of a deceased's estate; and, other types of temporary transfers, such as at a shooting range or while hunting.
Senate amendments also require background checks of all principals when the transferee is an entity; allows transferors to rely on statements by transferees regarding their authority to own a firearm; and, puts extra duties on the state court administrator to report to the national background check system.
HB13-1229 also sets up procedures for persons formerly found mentally ill or persons formerly denied the right to possess a firearm to have that designation removed.
HB13-1228, the third bill signed Wednesday, authorizes Colorado Bureau of Investigation to collect a fee for running instant background checks. The Senate had passed the House version without amendment.
HB13-1226, that would prohibit concealed carrying of weapons on college campuses, has been laid over to May 10 for second reading in the Senate after passing the House.
SB13-195 and SB13-197 passed the Senate and have been assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the House.
SB13-195 does not allow handgun training classes for a concealed carry permit to be taken entirely online. Some portion of the class must be at the physical location where the instructor teaches.
SB13-197 prohibits possession of a firearm by anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense or subject to a civil or mandatory protection order and provides procedures for transferring firearms in those situations and procedures for having the prohibition lifted. It also allows local law enforcement agencies, at their discretion, to store firearms for anyone subject to the prohibition.