March 07, 2023
By Mark Chesnut
Anti-gun Colorado lawmakers are ramping up to make a full-scale assault on the Second Amendment, with a punitive measure that would ban many common semi-automatic rifles introduced in the state House of Representatives late last week.
House Bill 1230, sponsored by Democrat House member Elisabeth Epps, would ban the manufacture, import, purchase, sale, offer to sell or transfer of ownership for rifles that gun-ban advocates in the state legislature have designated as “assault weapons.” The bill’s far-reaching language—which reads like a mish-mash of dozens of similar proposals in other states over the past few years—would ban everything from AR-15-style rifles to many other models of rifles, shotguns and pistols used by lawful Coloradoans for hunting, competition, self-defense and sport shooting.
In fact, a semi-auto pistol that uses a detachable magazine and has a threaded barrel would be banned under the measure, including .22-caliber pistols with those characteristics. Heck, the bill even outlaws shotguns with revolving cylinders, like those often seen in old Western movies and likely never used in a “mass shooting” anywhere in the world!
In making the case for the ban, the bill’s author made some pretty outlandish claims, proving her lack of knowledge about firearms.
“Assault weapons are uniquely lethal due to tactical features that are designed for the battlefield in order to injure or kill large numbers of people quickly and efficiently,” the measure states. “These tactical features differentiate assault weapons from other firearms. These features include detachable magazines, barrel shrouds, pistol grips, forward grips, and telescoping stocks, which allow a shooter to fire a high volume of ammunition in a short period of time while maintaining accuracy.”
Of course, detachable magazines are used in hundreds of models of popular semi-auto pistols, barrel shrouds protect shooters from unwanted direct contact with the barrel, pistol grips are also found on, well, pistols, forward grips do nothing to affect the rate of fire or concealability, and telescoping stocks typically change the length of a rifle by only a few inches. None of those features make a firearm any more or less “lethal,” as the measure says.
The bill’s language also claims that banning such weapons has proven successful in the past, pointing to the Clinton gun ban back in the 1990s as an example.
“Research shows that banning assault weapons leads to a drop in mass shootings and gun massacres,” the measure states. “In the 10 years that the federal assault weapons ban was in place, gun massacres dropped 37 percent. After the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, gun massacres skyrocketed by 183 percent.”
While that might sound good, those numbers are simply lies bandied about by gun-ban organizations, anti-gun legislators and their friends in the so-called “mainstream” media. The truth of the matter is much different. After the “assault weapon ban” of 1994-2004 was allowed to sunset, a congressionally-mandated study found that the ban had no impact on crime, in part because “the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction of gun murders.”
Incidentally, the measure also bans ownership, sale and transfer of what it calls “rapid-fire trigger activators,” described as any item that can increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm. If the measure is passed, even possessing any items that might fall under this broad designation would be considered a Class 2 misdemeanor, with a fine of up to 120 days in jail.
While the measure has a long ways to go before becoming a law, some Colorado political observers believe it might already be in trouble. A report at coloradopolitics.com mentions that Democrat Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, of Fort Collins, was listed as a first prime sponsor in the draft legislation but his name is no longer on the introduced bill.
“The measure may not have enough support from Democrats, including by some leaders on this issue, and the measure is in danger of dividing the Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Caucus,” the report stated.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.
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