Colorado House Passes College Gun Ban

“This bill has absolutely nothing, zero, to do with public safety. This bill is taking advantage of a tragedy that’s out there to demonize law-abiding citizens who are exercising their Second Amendment rights and using it as a way to generate $4 million to $5 million in increased taxes on these people.”

- Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, CO

Concealed weapons on college campuses would be banned under a bill passed Monday in the Colorado House, legislation part of a Democratic gun control package that cleared the House the same day.

The Denver Post reports House Bill 1226, which bans concealed weapons on public college campuses, passed the House on a 34-31 vote, with three Democrats voting no.

Democrats argued guns and college students don’t mix and that campuses are some of the safest places in America.

But Republicans, especially female GOP lawmakers, said young women on college campuses would now be more at risk of sexual assault and other violent crimes.

Republicans also argued that the bill was essentially disarming people who might be able to stop a spree shooter such as the one who killed 32 people and wounded 17 on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007.

The Colorado legislature in 2003 passed the Concealed Carry Act, which states a person with a permit may carry a concealed weapon “in all areas of the state,” except for a narrow list of exceptions, such as federal properties and K-12 schools.

The law didn’t include colleges, and three University of Colorado students sued in 2008 in a case that went all the way to the state Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled the CU Board of Regents overstepped its authority by banning permitted concealed weapons on campuses.

The bill banning concealed weapons on campus was the fourth and last bill on which the House took a recorded vote on Monday. The bills now move to the Senate.

House Bill 1228, which requires gun buyers to pay the cost of their state background checks with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, cleared the House on a 33-32 vote. Four Democrats voted against the bill.

The fee would range from $5 to $12.

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