Colorado

Feb 2, 2013 10:34 PM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Local lawmaker weighs in on gun control debate

The wait for background checks to buy firearms is still long as guns and ammunition fly off the shelves at stores and gun shows across Colorado.

The parking lot was overflowing at the Colorado Springs Gun Show at the Freedom Financial Services Center on Saturday. Among the attendees was Congressman Doug Lamborn (R - 5th District) who said he was there to show his opposition to proposed gun control laws.

"I don't want to see any legislation that's going to erode our Second Amendment," Lamborn explained. "That's simply not acceptable here in America."

Just like gun sales the debate over gun control hasn't subsided months after the mass shooting that left 26 people dead, 20 of them children, at an elementary school in Connecticut. Over the past week Senate hearings were held on gun violence in which gun control advocates pushed for a ban on "assault weapons" and universal background checks while pro-gun groups argued increased regulations will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

"Second Amendment rights are the foundation on which our discussion rests, they're not at risk," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont). "But what is at risk are lives."

Hearings were also held in Connecticut, parents of the victims of the school shooting pushed for tighter gun laws.

"The liberty of any person to own a military style assault weapon and high capacity magazine and keep them in their home is second to the right of my son to his life," said David Wheeler, whose son died in the massacre.

Opponents of increased gun regulations, like Congressman Lamborn, said universal background checks will not solve the problem of gun violence because criminals will not go through them. Lamborn believes increasing school security and allowing more people to carry concealed weapons will help curb the problem.

"To make the bad guys know they can't just act with impunity somewhere," Lamborn explained.

Lamborn said he found some President Obama's executive orders signed last month to offer more school resource officers and push for enforcement of current laws to be reasonable. There is agreement from both sides of the aisle on other aspects of gun violence and mass shootings, there's bi-partisan agreement that more attention needs to be paid to treating mental illness.

However, with a Democrat controlled Senate and a Republican controlled House, Lamborn doesn't think any new laws increasing gun control will pass.

"I can't predict what will happen in the Senate," Lamborn explained. "But certainly in the U.S. House we're not going to let any erosion take place of the Second Amendment."

On Monday President Obama is scheduled to launch a nationwide tour in Minnesota to talk about his proposals to increase gun regulation.

 

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