Legislative Roundup: Second Amendment bills heard in committee – The Durango Herald

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DENVER – A host of bills aiming to expand Second Amendment rights were heard Wednesday by the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee.

Included were House bills 1036, which would remove the prohibition on carrying a concealed firearm on school campuses; 1037, which would allow business owners and employees to use deadly force on intruders; and 1097, which would repeal the limitations on magazine capacity in Colorado.

The hearing for H.B. 1036 lasted more than four hours before Democrats killed the bill on a party-line vote, 6-3.

Senate Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Franktown, argued the bill would have sent a clear message to criminals that schools are not gun-free zones that could be targeted.

“The purpose is to say we’re going to do more than put up flashy signs,” Neville said.

Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, said the bill would have allowed individuals who were not held to the same level of training as law enforcement to carry firearms on school grounds, and would have disrupted schools being a “safe place” for students.

“If you come from a neighborhood like I came from, often the classroom is the only safe place for a student to get away from a gun because when they’re out on the street, they’re constantly facing threats that just happen within their neighborhoods,” Melton said.

The death of H.B. 1036 by the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee likely was a preview of what will happen when other Second Amendment bills passed by the Senate make it to the Democrat-majority House.

In other House action on Wednesday, 23 bills were heard in committees, including:

Senate Joint Memorial 1, which would ask Congress to re-evaluate how wildfire suppression is funded through public land managers, was passed by the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, 13-0.The memorial is being put forward because of the practice of “fire transfers” that often take funds from mitigation efforts to pay for firefighting. As a memorial, the bill has no power but represents an effort to keep the issue on the minds of congressional representatives.

Senate Bill 27, which would raise the penalty for texting while driving, was passed 4-1 in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee and referred to the Finance Committee. The bill would make the initial penalty $300 and 5 points against a driver’s record, and $750 and 6 points on subsequent offenses.Lperkins@durangoherald.com