It has been just over six months since a shooter erupted in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado with a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic assault rifle, its 100 round magazine loaded for murder. With the ability to shoot 100 rounds of .223 ammunition into the crowd at 3,000 feet per second all in less than one minute…he planned his assault well. He chose the one gun most preferred by gun enthusiasts, by doomsday preppers, by those wanting to have the most efficient killing machine should they need to “stand against tyranny” or fight zombies. And 12 people died, 58 were injured in the massacre that lasted under five minutes. He was stopped only when he tried to reload.
In the past month Colorado has had before its legislature four gun bills. HB 1229, which requires background checks for ALL firearms transactions, passed the Colorado House this afternoon. HB 1224 restricts the number of rounds in a magazine to 15; it also passed the Colorado House this afternoon.
The two lesser bills, House Bill 1226 involves concealed carry permits on campuses and House Bill 1228 institutes a fee to cover the cost of background checks; both are expected to pass as well this afternoon.
All bills are expected to pass the 20:15 Democratic majority in the Senate and the governor is expected to sign them. The Colorado House was considered the only potential stumbling block to their passage.
House Bill 1224 was the most contentious. Assault rifle accessory manufacturer Magpul, which is right now running three shifts, 24/7, in the manufacture of 30 round magazines [PMAG] for AR-15 variants, threatened to leave the state should this bill pass. Its sub-supplier, Alfred Manufacturing, has also said it will leave the state, though it does not rely solely on Magpul for business. The two companies represent about 450 jobs for Colorado, most low paying assembly line jobs.
“Due to the highly restrictive language in HB 1224, if passed, and we remained here, this measure would require us to cease PMAG production on July 1, 2013.
In short, Magpul would be unable to remain in business as a CO company, and the over 200 jobs for direct employees and nearly 700 jobs at our subcontractors and suppliers would pick up and leave CO. Due to the structure of our operations, this would be entirely possible, hopefully without significant disruption to production.” – [Source]
Other participants in the Magpul supply chain like Smith & Wesson pulled out all the stops to get gun enthusiasts to defeat this bill. Gun fora across the internet all had impassioned pleas from the NRA and fora members to defeat it. The gun community, the NRA, and the lobbyists for the gun industry made this a line in the sand…no Western state would fall. While gun enthusiasts speak with disdain of New York, Massachusetts and California, their belief was that no Western state would address legislation to put restrictions on gun ownership or their accessories.
The vote on Colorado House Bill 1224 passed 34:31
The vote on Colorado House Bill 1229 passed 36:29
The vote on Colorado House Bill 1228 passed 33:32
The vote on Colorado House Bill 1226 is pending at the time of writing.
McAllister is a life long liberal, environmentalist, Eagle Scout, and even gun owner – born in Harlan, Kentucky and has lived in Southern California, New York City and now resided in Lexington, Kentucky as a Systems Analyst.
You can read more of McAllister’s observations and opinions at Shoot From the Left Hip.