True scope of gun control bill questioned

6:35 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - A gun control bill waiting for Governor Hickenlooper's signature could be far more sweeping than supporters have ever acknowledged.

The bill banning ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds also includes a line outlawing magazines that can be "readily converted" to that size.

Gun rights supporters say that could ban nearly all magazines, because most have a removable base plate for extenders.

Gun control advocates say they don't think that'll happen. Gun rights don't trust the government to narrowly interpret the bill and the words "readily converted."

Magazine extenders, sold at gun shops, allow 15-round magazines to hold more ammo. A removable floor plate allows almost all magazines to be outfitted with the extenders.

Gun shop owners say the bill should have banned extenders if the aim of the legislation was to truly limit the capacity of ammunition magazines.

Bill sponsor Representative Rhonda Fields, an Aurora Democrat, says there was no discussion about the extenders while drafting the bill.

Existing magazines that are owned by Coloradans before July 1 are grandfathered in under the law. Magazines subject to the ban will slowly be banned completely as owners die, because it would be illegal to pass them down to heirs.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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