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Colorado House OKs gun-control measures

| Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, 7:33 p.m.

DENVER — New gun-control measures passed the Colorado House on Monday during a second day of emotional debates that has drawn attention from the White House.

The Democratic-controlled House approved a ban on large-capacity magazines, placing a limit of eight rounds for shotguns and 15 rounds for other firearms. Three Democrats joined all Republicans in voting against the bill, but the proposal passed 34-31.

“Enough is enough. I'm sick and tired of bloodshed,” said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, a sponsor of the bill and representative of the district where a gunman in an Aurora movie theater killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others.

Republicans opposed the measure and others up for a final vote in the House, saying they restrict Second Amendment rights and won't prevent mass shootings.

“This bill will never keep evil people from doing evil things,” said Republican Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling.

The House also approved a bill requiring background checks on all gun purchases, including those between private sellers and firearms bought online. Democrats were more unified in their support of that bill, with just one member voting against it in the 36-29 vote.

Other proposals would ban concealed firearms on college campuses and require that gun purchasers pay for their own background checks.

The Senate needs to consider the proposals.

Lawmakers began the debate on the bills on Friday, when they gave them initial approval, setting up the final recorded votes on Monday. Vice President Joe Biden called four Democrats on Friday during a daylong debate on the measures — including two freshmen legislators in moderate districts — to solidify support for the bills.

Democratic Rep. Dominick Moreno, who represents a district in suburban Denver, said Biden “emphasized the importance of Colorado's role in shaping national policy around this issue.”

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