As expected, on Wednesday Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two controversial gun control bills passed last week into law. One limiting magazine sizes to 15 rounds was approved Wednesday. The other, calling for universal background checks on all sales or transfers of weapons was passed late Friday. A third measure was also signed, requiring buyers to pay for their own background checks.
The governor’s approval was confirmed in an email from his office to NBC News.
The legislation was submitted in apparent answer to not only the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn., but also to events within the state, most notably the Columbine High School massacre and the one that occurred last summer at the Aurora movie theater.
“Colorado is in a unique position in that we have suffered these tragedies firsthand, so there is a drumbeat in Colorado,” Colorado Senate President John Morse, a Democrat, told NBC News in early March.
The legislation was passed in bitter opposition to Republican lawmakers and continues to get severe push-back from the state’s sheriffs.
“Why put the effort into enforcing a law that is unenforceable?” Weld County Sheriff John Cooke told the Colorado paper on Monday. “With all of the other crimes that are going on, I don’t have the manpower, the resources or the desire to enforce laws like that.”
Just as elections have consequences, so too, a politician’s actions may control his political future.
“We’re all in shock here,” state Senator Greg Brophy, a Republican, said on Wednesday. “It turns out this guy who everybody thought was a moderate Democrat is actually a gun-control governor.”
“I think the governor will be replaced by someone who has Colorado values instead of New York City values,” Brophy said. “If Republicans are returned to control we will repeal these bills immediately.”
Read more at NBC News.
Weld County, Colo. Sheriff appeared “On the Record” and told host Greta Van Susteren that the laws, as well-ententioned as they may be, are wholly unenforceable.
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