Colorado Democrats introduce assault weapon ban

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Not that long ago, I talked about the gun control measures being considered in Colorado. One that was notably absent was an assault weapon ban. I noted then that, from a strategic standpoint, that was pretty smart. An assault weapon ban would be a pro-gun rallying cry, one that would make passage of any other measure that much harder.


I gave Democrats there credit for being pretty savvy.

It seems I shouldn’t have.

Democrats introduced an assault weapons ban at the Colorado statehouse late Friday, a move which is sure to inflame the legislature and potential push away some in the party who have expressed reservations about whether the state could enforce such a ban.

House bill 1230 was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee where several of the co-sponsors serve, including the bill’s main sponsor Democratic Rep. Elisabeth Epps.

Democrats could lose as many as 13 votes in the House and still pass the measure onto the Senate, which has a smaller Democratic majority.

At the center of the debate is the question of what constitutes an assault weapon. As written, the measure would define an assault weapon as a “semiautomatic rifle” that uses detachable magazines and has one of a number of features, these include a pistol grip, a folding stock, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel, among others. The draft also would ban certain .50 caliber rifles, semi automatic pistols, shotguns with revolving cylinders and semiautomatic shotguns.

And really, the inclusion of .50 caliber rifles is how you know this is absolute nonsense and has nothing to do with criminal activity.

There has never, to my knowledge, been any crime carried out with such a firearm, much less there being some rampant epidemic of them being used in such a fashion.

It’s just not a thing.

Now, as the above quote notes, there is a healthy Democratic majority in the state House and they also possess a strong one in the Senate as well.


However, whereas before, a lot of pro-gun people might not have liked what was on the table, they might not have disliked it enough to fight over it. With an assault weapon ban on the table, especially one that gets into banning certain shotguns and pistols, that’s going to up the ante a fair bit.

Now there’s something to rally against that’s bad news across the board.

After all, once you start banning certain guns, it’s only a matter of time before you start to expand that definition and we all know it. We also know that even something like a grandfather clause is only a short-term respite.

Where Colorado Democrats had been smart to leave that off, at least for the time being, they may have well and truly screwed up.

Sure, they still have control, but a lot of those Democrats represent districts where they’ll have to fight to retain office. That fight becomes harder if people have a reason to oppose them, obviously.

That’s what an assault weapon ban puts on the table.

Dig in, Colorado. It’s time to get ready to fight.

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