Empowered by their slim majority in the state Senate and armed with what they believe is a textbook case of overzealous gun control that backfired, Republican lawmakers are seeking to scrap Colorado’s 2013 ban on gun magazines that exceed 15 rounds.
A proposal to do just that, sponsored by state Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, passed its first legislative hurdle in a Senate committee today — but likely will wind up on life support as soon as it passes out of the Senate and into the Democratic-controlled House. Marble’s Senate Bill 7 was approved by the Senate’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on a party-line vote; expect the opposite fate, also on a party-line vote, once it is assigned to State Affairs in the House. Democrats won’t look kindly at efforts to undo their handiwork from a few sessions ago.
The much debated limits on magazine capacity, enacted when both chambers of the legislature as well as the Governor’s Office were in Democratic hands, prompted gun-accessories manufacturer Magpul to depart Colorado for Wyoming in 2015, taking some 100 jobs with it from its plant in Erie. As ColoradoPolitics.com’s Joey Bunch reported in December, Magpul recently won a major contract to supply its gun magazines to the U.S. Marine Corps. Under the contract, Magpul will be the exclusive provider for magazines Marines carry into combat.
The15-round limit was adopted in the wake of the 2012 Aurora theater shootings that left 12 people dead and more than 70 wounded.
While Republicans concede Magpul probably isn’t coming back at this point, they say it only makes sense to roll back a law that a Senate GOP press release this afternoon called, “…an unenforceable and unwarranted assault on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens…” The press release also said the policy “does nothing to safeguard” the public and puts the chill on job creation:
The damage it did to Colorado’s economy became even more obvious recently, with reports that Magpul, a firearms equipment maker that left the state in protest over the issue, won a major military contract that could have brought new jobs to Colorado.
In its press statement, the Senate Republican communications office quoted Marble:
“Magpul’s good fortune in winning that contract could have been Colorado’s good fortune, and its growing workforce could have been Colorado’s growing workforce, if Democrats hadn’t embarked on this pointless and self-defeating effort to ‘do something about guns.’…Repealing these arbitrary and pointless magazine capacity limits not only will help restore lost rights, but it will help right a wrong that continues to hurt Colorado’s economy.”
Following news of the Marine contract awarded to Magpul, we sought comment from the office of Gov. John Hickenlooper, who had signed the magazine limits into law. We have not heard back and will update you if we do.