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Colorado House passes bill banning semiautomatic firearms

Colorado's Democratic governor has expressed skepticism about the bill as it heads to the state Senate, where it is expected to face challenges.
Colorado House passes bill banning semiautomatic firearms
Posted at 11:12 AM, Apr 15, 2024

Colorado's Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban the sale and transfer of semiautomatic firearms.

House Bill 1292 was passed Sunday with a 35-27 vote along party lines. It now heads to the state Senate, where it is expected to face challenges.

The bill would allow lawmakers to define the term "assault weapon" and ban such weapons from being manufactured, sold, imported, purchased or transferred in the state of Colorado. It would also prohibit people from possessing rapid-fire trigger activators, which increase the speed at which a gun fires. 

Those in violation of the ban could be fined $250,000 for the first offense and $500,000 for any subsequent violations.

SEE MORE: Colorado lawmaker leaves loaded pistol in state Capitol bathroom

However, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis — a Democrat — has already expressed skepticism about the ban. A similar bill was rejected by Democrats last year after lawmakers feared breaking promises they'd already made to constituents about gun rights and government overreach. 

Republican state Rep. Matt Soper opposes the bill and told Scripps News Denver that it violates Coloradans' Second Amendment rights. 

“I can tell you from rural Colorado, the one thing that people hold most dear would be their property, and firearms are right there with it,” Soper said. “Firearms are very symbolic of our way of life, of who we are.” 

State Rep. Richard Holtorf, also a Republican, said he doesn't imagine many sheriff's offices in the state will acknowledge or enforce the bill if it is passed into law. The County Sheriffs of Colorado has already expressed opposition to the bill. 

“You need to understand that in the 64 counties, I would opine that about 47 of them will never, ever because of those to the Constitution enforce this statute,” Holtorf said. 

If  HB1292 does gain approval from the state Senate, Colorado could become the 11th state to pass prohibitions on semiautomatic guns.


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