The Colorado Senate passed Senate Bill 197 on a 20-15 party line vote on Monday. The Bill, sponsored by Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, will ban domestic violence abusers – both convicted as well as those who have been accused of domestic violence – from possessing firearms and came with much objection from Republican lawmakers including Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, who said on Friday that “the bill is ripe for abuse. It’s ripe for confiscation of personal private property.” Cadman asked for more time to work with democrats on the measure stating that it was a Bill republicans wanted to support but couldn’t in it’s present form – but was denied.
Supporters of the measure presented an argument detailing statistics claiming that 13 people were shot in 2011 by domestic violence offenders who under federal law should not have been in possession of firearms.
The Bill requires courts to order anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order or anyone who’s actually been convicted of domestic violence to surrender their guns within 24 hours. The Denver Post on Monday reported that the process of relinquishment involved “storing” the weapons with law enforcement or a firearms dealer or simply selling the guns to the dealer. The person who gave up their firearms must then show a “receipt of relinquishment” to the court. The right to the guns could be restored in the event that a protection order was lifted.
GOP senators said the Bill essentially amounted to gun confiscation, arguing that protective orders weren’t convictions and only those actually convicted of a violent crime should be subjected to any loss of constitutional rights.
Senate Bill 197 now moves on to the House.