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Colorado Senate approves gun control bills

DENVER — A gun control package pushed by Colorado Democrats cleared the state Senate on Monday, as sponsors described it as a needed response to Colorado's history of mass shootings.

One Democrat after another rose Monday to talk about restricting gun rights after July's shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater. The vote came on the eve of an expected plea by the alleged gunman, James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.

The measures approved by the Senate included a limit on the kinds of high-capacity ammunition magazines Holmes is accused of using in the theater shooting. Other measures included expanded background checks on private gun sales, a ban on gun ownership for people facing domestic violence charges, and increased training for a concealed-weapons permit.

Republicans argued in vain that the gun controls would not have prevented the theater shooting, nor the school massacre in December in Newtown, Conn. Some cited the 1999 Columbine High School shootings outside Denver.

Democrats stood firm.

"We can't get back the kids we lost, but can refuse to send them more," argued Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver.

Only one of the five bills heads to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper to be signed into law, a revived fee for background checks for gun purchasers. The remaining four bill must return to the House for more debate. The House is under Democratic control and will likely approve the measures.

Colorado Senate approves gun control bills 03/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:34am]

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