UK & World News
Colorado Approves Historic New Gun Laws
The US state of Colorado - the scene of two of the worst shooting massacres in the country's history - has passed historic new laws which could prove a model for gun control measures across the country.
Politicians were prompted into action by the shooting spree at a cinema in Aurora near Denver last summer which claimed 12 lives. The killings at Newtown in Connecticut in December added renewed impetus.
So while the national effort at new restrictions appears to be stalling, Colorado's legislature has passed a ban on high capacity ammunition magazines and tightened requirements for background checks on people buying a gun.
It is seen as a remarkable success for the gun control movement in a 'frontier' state famous for its love of hunting and liberty.
Even though there is no ban on military-style assault weapons, the new restrictions are enough to anger gun enthusiasts in the state.
George Horne, who owns Denver's oldest gun shop The Gun Room, told Sky News that gun owners were being unfairly targeted.
He said: "There's plenty of ways to create violence and inflict harm on other people other than firearms, so I think the emotion of firearms is being used. They're not addressing the problem which is the person, but the firearm which is just the tool.
"I always tell people it is not the arrow, it is the Indian."
One of his customers put it more bluntly. Mike Rosenthal said: "I think they are violating our constitution and I think they're all traitors."
He said that if authorities try to remove guns from owners the result "won't be pretty".
He said the Second Amendment to the US constitution, guaranteeing the right to bear arms, should allow people to own a bomb "if they could afford it".
Colorado has followed New York in being the first to put in place new restrictions as politicians and lobbyists in Washington continue to lock horns on a national framework.
Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed in the shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999, has long campaigned for tighter controls.
He says he is proud of what the state has done and hopes others will follow.
"Two weeks before he died my son said to me 'Dad, do you know there are loopholes in the Brady law', the law that requires background checks, and then he was killed with a gun that was purchased through one of those loopholes.
"That is what has driven me. I have wanted to close those loopholes for him and for the sake of others."
Mr Mauser wears his son's trainers when attending gun control events. "I literally walk in his shoes," he said.
The scale of the task facing him is perhaps illustrated by the popularity of a website called gunsforeveryone.com
Its founder Edgar Antillon said it started out as a joke but had now taken on an activist role.
He said: "We don't think any new restrictions are the answer. Law abiding gun owners don't carry out massacres. If they put new laws in place, we will simply not follow them."
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what do you think?
Great to see Americans have some sense but some of the vox pop comments in this piece are truely terrifying.
Doesnt go far enough as far as im concerned.
True enough Shaun but it's a beginning................
The problem with gun control people is they believe the gun is the villain. They don't understand that it's not the guns nor the bullets but something more elementary - people don't respect each other and each other's rights. This needs to be addressed rather than trying to cover-up the problem with sticky-tape. The IRA still gets machine guns - they're just common criminals. Laws only affect the law abiding and last I checked, mass-murderers were not law-abiding citizens.
And the problem there is that most mass murderers ARE law abiding citizens until pull the trigger. They more often than not legally own the guns they use. Guns which no sane person has reason to own.
"I always tell people it is not the arrow, it is the Indian." I'll bet that comment went down well amongst Native Americans...................
It does not matter what the gunshop owner says, what his customer thinks, and says, does! If the customers children were all to be killed in a school massacre he would be quite happy? The principle of the thing, in his mind, is the most important. The principle must be upheld. If the customer guy really hated the government there so much would he choose to shoot himself first? no he likes the idea of a 'bomb' so as to kill more. They all think too much of their own self importance. Any governments most important job is the protection of its people and that means all of them.
Problem is every state as its own laws .MENTAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS LOOKING AT AS ALL THE SHOOTERS HAVE HAD PROBLEMS
James R McCulloch
This is the way I see it, let them keep their guns and bullets. Eventually someone will die from an atrocity. Let them weep at the gravestone over someone who was killed by a gun. That is their lifestyle and their choice. Laws and more laws won't stop the shootings.
The UK had a knee jerk reaction to gun legislation and as someone who held a Certificate I am only too aware that the politicians were warned their action was pointless the problem was with background checks. Since we banned full bore pistols and semi-automatics there has been a rise in gun crime not a fall so the only people who suffered were those who participated in the sport of shooting. If someone wants a gun they will get it