Colorado lawmakers are currently considering some of the toughest gun control legislation in the country, including a “assault weapons liability” law (making “assault weapons” manufacturers and retailers responsible for crimes), a high-capacity magazine ban, mandatory background check fees, gun restrictions for domestic violence offenders, ban on concealed carry on college campuses, and universal background checks.
The Colorado Senate is set to debate seven gun control proposals on Friday, but don’t expect a speedy resolution. KDVR-TV reports that state Senate Republicans are planning a Rand Paul-esque filibuster to protest the legislation. The bold move could push the floor debate on the seven gun control bills into Saturday and even Sunday.
It’s a high-stakes battle for many individual lawmakers, facing intense pressure from constituents in divided districts, and for advocates on both sides of this national debate over guns.
What happens in Colorado, a western, politically moderate state that’s been affected by two major mass shootings at Columbine in 1999 and in Aurora last July, has the potential to re-shape the national narrative about whether the country is ready for tighter gun control laws in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.
Ultimately, whenever the final Senate votes are taken, it’s likely that anywhere between four and seven measures are approved.
There are 20 Democrats in the 35-member state Senate. With 18 votes needed to pass any bill, no votes from just three Democratic senators would kill any of these bills.
Right now, two Democrats are planning to vote against three of them.
Senate President John Morse, who is sponsoring the “assault weapons liability” bill, said Thursday that he expects the Senate to pass a “comprehensive package” on gun control but didn’t guarantee all seven bills would pass.
Only time will tell if Colorado GOP senators’ filibuster will be as effective as Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) epic nearly 13 hour filibuster on drone strikes and civil liberties.
This story has been updated.