Rep. Mike McLachlan, who recently survived a recall attempt by gun-rights advocates, faced the public again Saturday morning at Durango Public Library to explain the successes of the recent legislative session.
This is my fourth town hall meeting since the Colorado legislature adjourned in May, McLachlan told a crowd of 40 to 50 people.
McLachlan attempted to share information about the bills passed during the 2013 legislative session that will accelerate Colorados economic recovery and benefit rural Colorado.While most of the meeting remained calm, toward the end, people taking issue with his votes on firearms and other issues turned into a raucous, and at times disrespectful, contingent.McLachlan portrayed himself as a centrist who believes that government can only do its job when parties involved are willing to compromise, as he did on a number of issues, including high-capacity ammunition magazines.He said that many Democrats wanted a maximum magazine capacity of 10 rounds, but he was advocating for 30 rounds. McLachlan said Republicans wouldnt vote for any capacity limitations, and he eventually fought for 15-round limits.
House Bill 1224, signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, sets capacity at 15 rounds of ammunition.
At the start of his six-county Legislative Listening Tour, the 59th District Democrat and Durango resident reviewed what he considers his successes. Some of those successes included:
House Bill 1193, designed to help small businesses take advantage of export markets.
Senate Bill 264, which provides for doctors to come to rural areas.
Senate Bill 269 provides $2.5 million in grants for wildfire mitigation programs.
Senate Bill 138 to improve school security by improving effectiveness of school resource officers.
Senate Bill 175, which extended the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp Program for 14 years.
House Bill 1232 to create a program for active-duty military members who have been transferred to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Carson that provides access to the therapeutic benefits of hunting and fishing.
House Bill 1164 to extend the Unwanted Horse Checkoff on the state tax return.
While much of the meeting was civil, the discussion became more heated when it turned to his votes on gun regulation.
One firearms dealer said the states new regulation for firearm background checks on private gun sales sets a fee limit for dealers but doesnt allow them to collect money for all of the time and paperwork required for those checks. The $10 fee goes directly to the state.
After some apparent confusion about the speakers point, McLachlan agreed to look into the issue.
Several participants praised McLachlan for his work as a state legislator.
One participant said that limits on magazine capacity and background checks limit his constitutional rights under the Second Amendment.
McLachlan, as he did in an even more contentious meeting February 22, mentioned U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative justices.
In the case District of Columbia v. Heller, Scalia, referring to an earlier case, wrote that some limitations are acceptable.
McLachlan reiterated that point: I believe that the Constitution allows some reasonable gun-safety legislation.
Hecklers persisted, and the meeting ended a few minutes later.