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Colorado Senate passes 5 of 7 gun control bills

Two bills withdrawn; Legislators avoid rare Saturday session

State Senate Avoids Saturday Session

DENVER - The Colorado Senate met for 12 hours Friday, approving five gun control bills and withdrawing two of the most controversial bills.

A final-hour surprise was when Senate President John Morse, a Colorado Springs Democrat, withdrew a bill he sponsored that called for makers and sellers of certain guns to be held liable for violent acts committed with those weapons.  Republicans celebrated, saying Democrats lacked strong support for the bill.

The other bill withdrawn was a ban on concealed weapons on college campuses.  That bill also was killed by its sponsor, Sen. Rollie Heath, a Democrat from Boulder.  Failing support among fellow Democrats was cited as the reason for the withdrawal.

Of the five bills that passed, the most controversial was limiting gun ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.  After a six-hour debate, the bill gained initial approval and requires a final floor vote on Monday.

Also passing on Friday were bills requiring background checks for most gun purchases; banning guns for people convicted of certain domestic violence crimes; mandating in-person training courses for people seeking concealed carry permits and reinstating fees for gun buyers who need background checks.

The late flurry of activity meant the Senate avoided having to return to the chamber on Saturday.  Legislative rules required the Senate to finish by midnight to avoid the extra session. 

The passed bills officially become law after they're signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

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