Colorado

Jan 4, 2014 12:03 AM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Herpin and Rivera plan to take on controversial gun laws

The two state senators elected after last year's recall elections plan to take on the controversial gun laws that lead to their election.

State Senator Bernie Herpin (R - Colorado Springs) was elected to replace former State Senator John Morse, who lead efforts to pass hotly debated gun control laws in the 2013 legislative session. Herpin plans to propose a bill that would reverse a ban on ammunition magazines over 15-rounds.

"I'm sponsoring a bill to roll back the magazine limit that was enacted last session," Herpin explained. "These kind of laws that were put into place last session do nothing to prevent gun crime unfortunately."

State Senator George Rivera (R - Pueblo) was elected after former State Senator Angela Giron was recalled for voting in support of the gun laws. Rivera also plans to propose a measure to wipe out a bill that mandated universal background checks for all gun sales and the fees for the checks.

"Having been in law enforcement for 34-years I know that evil people, that are intent on doing evil things, are going to find a way to do it," Rivera said. "The background checks, in my opinion, the only thing it does is inconvenience the law abiding citizen."

Backers of last year's gun laws take issue with both Herpin and Rivera's arguments. Representative Beth McCann (D - Denver) said that after the implementation of the background check law over 70 convicted criminals were blocked from buying a gun.

"The law is working, I don't know why we would want to repeal it," McCann explained.

McCann also stands by the magazine limit law.

"Fifteen rounds is enough to do what people would legitimately would be doing with a weapon," she said.

While disagreement abounds on the gun laws, all three lawmakers who spoke to News 5 said they hoped the 2014 legislative session would not be as contentious as last year's and hoped compromise could be reached between both sides of the aisle.

The 2014 legislative session begins on Jan. 8.

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