Background Check Repeal Hearing Monday

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Audio of the hearing here:
http://coloradoga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=5

MONDAY POLS UPDATE: A statement from Rep. Rhonda Fields today via Stand Strong Colorado:

State Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) welcomed representatives from Stand Strong Colorado to the Capitol today in support of the common sense gun laws passed in the 2013 legislative session. She thanked supporters for standing strong in support of the bill she carried to expand background checks to private gun sales.

Rep. Fields took aim at the blatant fear-mongering and lies advanced by the gun lobby. “They’re saying we’re banning private gun sales. That’s a lie,” she said. “Since the 2013 law went into effect more than 6,000 private gun sales have gone through the CBI. 98 percent of those sales went through without a hitch. Those are the facts. They’re saying we’re limiting gun transfers among family members. That’s a lie. The 2013 law explicitly says a gun owner may give a gun or loan a gun to a family member.  Those are the facts.”

We'll update with coverage from today's hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee. Original post follows.

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Senator George Rivera, having bungled the first rollout of his background check repeal bill SB 14-094 by not meeting the deadline, is trying again Monday, and is hoping that this time, the law will make it out of Committee.  

 The bill is not likely to make it out of the State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, often known as the “kill committee”. Megan Schrader reported in the Gazette that advocates for and against repeal of the background check law will be testifying tomorrow, February 3, at 1:30 PM in SB room 353. Senate President Morgan Carroll has pledged to allow everyone who shows up at committee hearings to testify.

Therefore, the Capitol is likely to be a nonstop media circus tomorrow. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is  activating its base to testify for Rivera’s bill. RMGO’s Facebook page pleads:

It’s very important that gun owners turn out for the hearing in large numbers. If gun owners don’t show up, it will only embolden the left.

Colorado Ceasefire and Moms Demand Action – CO are also urging their members to testify against the bill, to keep the background check provisions of 13-1229 in place, and to let 14-094 die in committee.  The data shows that background checks are working to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and violent people.

Victor Head, a so- called “Pueblo plumber” and candidate for Pueblo County Clerk, will testify.  Mr. Head was allowed to state several falsehoods about the existing background check legislation, without being challenged by Ms. Schrader.

First, although Ms. Schrader refers to Mr. Head as a “Pueblo plumber", Mr. Head is not a licensed plumber. Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies has no record of Victor Head as a journeyman, apprentice, or  plumbing contractor. He may be working under the table or for a non-union shop, but his claim to be a “Pueblo plumber” is dubious.  If you recall, that didn’t work out well for “Joe, the Plumber”, in the McCain campaign. Joe the Plumber ended up on the hook for taxes owed for his cash-only business.

Unchallenged by Megan Schrader’s reporting, Victor Head will also testify that:

“When he leaves his gun with his girlfriend while he's out of town he is violating the law. The gun he loaned to his mother without a background check makes them both criminals.”

Head’s testimony is contradicted by the language of the existing background check bill, which states that the provisions of the law do not apply to:

Section I 6(b) A TRANSFER THAT IS A BONA FIDE GIFT OR LOAN BETWEEN IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS, WHICH ARE LIMITED TO SPOUSES, PARENTS, CHILDREN, SIBLINGS, GRANDPARENTS, GRANDCHILDREN, NIECES, NEPHEWS, FIRST COUSINS, AUNTS, AND UNCLES

Head could also loan his gun to his girlfriend for a period not exceeding 72 hours. After that, the girlfriend would need to undergo a  $5 background check, unless the gun is kept in the transferer’s home.

Senator Rivera, primary sponsor of the background check repeal bill, joked: "We're going to have paragliders come in. I will say this, whatever they do, you can bet, I'll bet my life on it, it'll be peaceful."

Would that our communities could also be “peaceful”. With another recent double murder-suicide by a young man in Douglass County, and Castle Rock agitating for open carry everywhere,  it doesn’t seem likely.  The background check bill is working to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. 

To keep the peace, leave background checks in place.

To contact the legislators on the State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee:

Photo credits: 

AP Photo: Brennan Linsley, published in the Colorado Springs Gazette

Colorado Ceasefire logo from https://www.facebook.com/coceasefire

Legislator contact information from Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee

mamajama55

About mamajama55

Teacher in southern Colorado, wannabe political pundit and sometime activist.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. IndyNinjaIndyNinja says:

    I say let it advance out of committee so that every single GOP member of the House can get on record supporting criminals buying guns. Either that or face the wrath of the RMGO by voting against the repeal. 

  2. ProgressNow Colorado says:

    Don't forget who they're really fighting for.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Testimony is still being heard at the 14-094 Background Check hearing. My guess is that hundreds of people, for and against background checks, signed up to testify. They have apparently a 3 minute limit.  I've been listening for about an hour; witnesses seem to be primarily supporters of background checks and the existing law.

    Opponents of the background check are extraordinarily resistant to the simple factual language of the existing law. Transfer of a gun (selling, giving, or loaning) within a family is fine, and can be done without a background check. Yet at least half of the witnesses against background check, like Pueblo's own Victor Head, rise to complain about how they can't leave a gun with their wife or grandkids.

    Transfer to a non family member is also fine, if the gun is retrieved within 72 hours. After that, they need a fricking background check, by a licensed gun dealer, which can cost no more than $10, take about 5 minutes, and the information is not retained in some Big Brother database. Even Senator Bernie Herpin had to admit to that, at about 6:30 pm today.

    Many victims and family members of victims of gun violence have testified,movingly. A veteran testified that he didn't want to come home to a war zone after living in one for his deployment.

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