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Attempt to repeal magazine limits nixed

By: The Associated Press
February 11, 2014 Updated: February 11, 2014 at 6:13 am
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Rifle magazines in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday, April 10, 2013. From left are 10, 17, 30 and 40 round magazines. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

DENVER - Democrats on Monday rejected a Republican attempt to repeal restrictions on the size of ammunition magazines in Colorado.

Dozens testified for or against the proposal Monday before a House committee rejected the bill on a 7-4 party-line vote.

Democrats last year passed a law that prohibits the sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. It became effective July 1.

Republicans called the limit arbitrary and an infringement on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

Supporters of the law say the goal is to limit damage from mass shooters.

Another repeal attempt is being heard in the Senate on Wednesday, where Democrats also have the votes to stop it.

The magazine limits are among a package of gun laws Democrats passed in the aftermath of mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.

Since then, gun rights advocates successfully recalled two Democratic senators in September because of their support of the law, and other gun restrictions.

Gone are former Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo.

They were replaced, respectively, by Republican Sens. Bernie Herpin and George Rivera.

Because of the new law, Erie-based Magpul Industries, one of the country's largest manufacturers of ammunition magazines, is moving its operations to Wyoming and Texas. A pending federal lawsuit seeks to overturn the magazine limits and a new requirement that background checks be conducted for private and online firearms sales.

Opponents of the law say it doesn't improve public safety because magazines, which hold ammunition in firearms, are not weapons.

"Magazines are not firearms, and I think that it does help our society to understand what we're really dealing with here," said Republican Rep. Chris Holbert, one of the sponsors of a repeal bill.

But supporters of the law say the goal is to minimize the damage from mass shooters. "They are what mass shooters go to to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time," said Jane Dougherty, a suburban Denver woman whose sister was killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings.

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