At a press conference on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper solemnly signed three bills designed to help control gun violence in Colorado. The bills prohibit large-capacity ammunition magazines, require criminal background checks for all transfers of firearms (including private transfers), and allow the CBI to recoup the cost of the background checks. The bills are:
- HB 13-1224 - Concerning Prohibiting Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazines, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Mary Hodge. Effective July 1, 2013, the bill prohibits manufacture or purchase of any magazine capable of accepting more than 15 rounds of ammunition.
- HB 13-1228 - Concerning Requiring the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to Recoup the Cost of Performing an Instant Background Check Prior to the Transfer of a Firearm, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation, by Rep. Lois Court and Sen. Rollie Heath. The bill allows the CBI to assess a charge for performing instant background checks.
- HB 13-1229 - Concerning Criminal Background Checks Performed Pursuant to the Transfer of a Firearm, and in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Rhonda Fields and Beth McCann and Sen. Morgan Carroll. The bill mandates criminal background checks for all transfers of firearms, including those between private parties.
Governor Hickenlooper issued a statement about the most controversial of the bills, HB 13-1224, noting that he acknowledges the concerns about the bill and stating
In considering the language of HB13-1224, we have consulted with the Office of the Attorney General and we concur with its advice that the large-capacity magazine ban should be construed narrowly to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Second Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. We have signed HB13-1224 into law based on the understanding that it will be interpreted and applied narrowly and consistently with these important constitutional provisions.
For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2013 legislative decisions, click here.