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Mauser is particularly pleased by the bill requiring universal background checks. Just two weeks before his son was killed, he says, Daniel brought up background checks and the many loopholes in the Brady Bill at the dinner table.
The limits on magazine capacity he sees as common sense. High-capacity magazines, he says, “are intended for war, not for our streets.”
Still, Mauser is cautious about the bills’ chances, given the number of times he’s seen legislation killed in the past. And even if all four bills are passed, he says, “it’s a small incremental step.”
Currently, Colorado’s gun laws earn it a 'D,' according to grades given by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which ranks Colorado 22nd out of 50 states in terms of how strict its laws are.
But even with both houses under Democratic control, passage is tight. And Gov. John Hickenlooper, also a Democrat, has said he’s not sure whether he’ll sign the college-campus ban, though he supports the other bills.
The universal background check measure passed by just 33 to 32. In the Senate, where Democrats have a 20-to-15 margin, just three Democrats voting against any of the bills would be enough to defeat them.
“This is part of our heritage. This is part of what it took to settle this land. I cannot turn my back on that,” said Democratic Rep. Ed Vigil during the House debate on the bills, explaining why he broke with party lines to oppose them.