Gun Laws: Colorado Passes Universal Background Checks, Governor Expected To Sign

Owen Poindexter
Colorado, noticing that the U.S. Congress progresses at the speed of a drunken, blind giant, took matters into its own hands today, and passed a law requiring universal background checks on all gun sales. Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign.

Gun shops live in shifting times, as the federal government and individual states debate new regulations. PHOTO: Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons

Colorado passed universal background checks on all gun sales, ridding themselves of the "gun show loophole" that allows sales at gun shows to happen without any kind of background check. Earlier this week, Colorado passed a bill banning gun magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds. Both bills are on Governor John Hickenlooper's proverbial desk, and await his signature.

Colorado is a very interesting state politically. Over the last few decades, it has been mostly red, but it went for Obama in both of his elections. It also passed state initiatives to legalize marijuana for recreational use and to legalize gay marriage. On gun issues, despite a large, gun-owning outdoors community, Colorado has shown its progressive side. It's worth noting that, despite the protests from the right, neither background checks or magazine restrictions would affect law-abiding hunters very much. They might have to fill out some extra paperwork and pay a fee once in a while for the background check, but no hunting rifle is going to have a magazine of 15 bullets.

Colorado, of course, has seen both the Aurora theater shooting that killed 12 and injured 70, and the Colombine shooting many years ago. The above measures make sense for a state with a large gun market, but an all too keen awareness of what happens when an overly powerful weapon ends up in the wrong hands.

Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the NRA argued against the measures in his CPAC speech, saying, the restriction "only includes good, law abiding people." LaPierre conveniently leaves out that they are the ones who have the least to worry about with background checks.

America isn't ready for nationwide sanity, but Colorado has been leading the way to show how sanity is done.