Colorado House committee approves first round of gun control measures

But opponents argued that extending background checks won’t prevent future mass shootings by people determined to get a weapon.

“Criminals do not obey the law,” Carey said, “and they’re not going to go through a background check.”

Aurora was also behind Fields’ ban on high-capacity magazines, like the 100-round drum magazine that jammed on alleged shooter James Holmes. Prosecutors have said that if the drum magazine had functioned properly, the death toll of the theater shooting would have been higher than 12.

Originally, the bill to outlaw such magazines capped the number of rounds at 10, but committee members amended it to allow for 15-round magazines in an attempt to strike a balance between public safety and the need for self-defense. Again, the question was raised as to how effective this ban will be to prevent violent crime since there’s no limit on the number of 15-round magazines a person can possess or carry.

Committee members also wanted to reword the bill to clearly exempt from prosecution Colorado companies that make 30-round magazines and sell them to NATO allies and private gun manufacturers.

Democrats control both chambers of the state legislature and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he supports both universal background checks and ammunition limits.

The debate will start anew on Wednesday when another pair of gun bills is introduced. These will require gun buyers to pay for background checks and ban concealed carry firearms on college campuses.

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