Hickenlooper endorses some gun measures

Hickenlooper Enlarge photo

Hickenlooper

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper endorsed some of his party’s gun bills Thursday, in advance of what’s expected to be a marathon debate today.

The House has reserved all day – and night, if necessary – for debate about four guns bills. They would require background checks for gun sales between private parties, ban concealed weapons at colleges, outlaw new high-capacity ammunition magazines and require gun buyers to pay for their own background checks.

Hickenlooper already has endorsed universal background checks. On Thursday, he said people should pay for their own background checks, as long as the government charges only the cost of the check and doesn’t use the fee to raise money for other purposes.

The governor also said he is OK with a limit on ammunition magazines, although he is waiting to see a final bill. The current version limits magazines to 15 rounds.

“Fifteen or 20 – a number in there might make sense,” Hickenlooper said.

He reserved judgment on the campus concealed-weapons bill.

House leaders said they are prepared to work past midnight to get the bills passed. If they stay on schedule, final passage in the House could come Monday.

“I think the loyal opposition has a lot to say about this, and we’re going to allow them to say what they need to say,” said House Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder.