Updated: March 9, 2013 at 12:00 am
At a packed Colorado Springs gun show Saturday, concerns swirled about a package of firearms regulation that’s poised to enter state law.
The laws would tighten background checks for gun purchasers, ban those convicted of domestic abuse from gun ownership and would change regulation on concealed carry classes. But a move to ban sales of high-capacity magazines drew the most fire at the Sertoma Gun Show at the Colorado Springs Event Center.
“It’s not the number of rounds that’s important,” Elden Leasure said as he ran a booth selling a variety of weapons and collectibles. “It’s whether it’s a level playing field. You need 30 rounds to protect yourself against someone else with 30 rounds.”
The state Senate on Friday voted to pass five gun control laws. The measures still need further approval at the General Assembly, but seem all but certain to hit Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk.
The Senate gave preliminary approval to a 15-round limit for magazines in a measure that would also limit the length of tube magazines on shotguns.
Leasure, owner of Leasures Treasures, LLC, in Colorado Springs, said existing background checks don’t bother him. Some people, he said, like those with a history of crime, shouldn’t have access to guns.
But limits on magazine capacity are frustrating because they only affect law-abiding citizens, he said. There’s no way to prevent criminals from doing what they want to do.
Jimmy West, a volunteer with the Firearms Coalition of Colorado, agreed and said gun laws won’t prevent violent crimes.
“They’re prohibition and confiscation schemes masquerading as safety and so-called common sense,” he said.
Steve Schreiner, president of the Firearms Coalition, said he thinks the perfect gun control law is no gun control law. Any legislation that may be passed will just be ignored by criminals, he said.
“You won’t see it taking place in gun shows, but it will take place elsewhere,” he said. “When organized crime moves in, that’s when we have problems.”
Jennifer and William Feger went to the show Saturday to look for ammunition for their three guns, which they use for target-shooting and home defense.
They’re not rushing to stock up, but Jennifer Feger said she doesn’t like any of the proposed laws, particularly the ban on high-capacity magazines.
“I think it’s ridiculous because it goes against the Second Amendment and our rights,” she said. “If someone breaks into the house, that guy knows how many shots you have left.”
William Feger is waiting for his concealed carry permit to come in the mail and Jennifer said she plans to get hers soon, too. There’s a backlog of requests right now because of a mad rush to do anything relating to firearms, she said.
Leasure said he’s heard people say a perfect world would be a world without guns, but he disagrees.
“What about Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan and Hitler?” he said. “A perfect world without weapons to protect yourself has never existed.”