The NRA has spoken out in favor of a bill that passed in the Colorado House of Representatives this week that will repeal state-run background checks on people purchasing firearms. But the bill still faces strong opposition in the state senate. Here are the details.
* HB 1048, sponsored by Rep. Mark Waller (R-Colorado Springs), would eliminate the background check done by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) InstaCheck system for firearm purchases. Instead, background checks would be conducted solely by the federal government's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
* HB 1048 passed the Colorado House with a vote of 37-28.
* According to the NRA, the CBI system is a duplicative process and removing it will save Colorado taxpayers $1.5 million the first year and more than $2 million in subsequent years.
* The state system frequently denies residents the right to purchase a firearm, due to incomplete information or trivial issues such as nonpayment of a speeding ticket, the NRA states.
* A U.S. Department of Justice study revealed Colorado as the state with the highest percentage of reversals on appeal for the right to transfer a firearm at 58.8% from 2000-2009, the NRA reported. In 2009, the number of reversals on appeal was 75.8%.
* According to the Denver Post, Waller stated that the bill merely eliminates a program that is duplicitous and that the FBI already performs background checks on sales through federally licensed firearms dealers.
* Speaking out against the measure was Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), whose son and daughter-in-law were murdered in 2005, as he was scheduled to testify at trial about another shooting. Fields stated in her opposition to the bill that the House of Representatives should be doing everything possible to preserve and protect life, the Denver Post reported.
* Other Democrats also opposed the bill, though four Democratic representatives voted along with the Republicans for its passage.
* The bill now goes to the largely-Democratic state senate, where pro-gun legislation is routinely assigned to the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. The NRA says that this particular committee is known as the designated "kill committee" for pro-Second Amendment legislation.