TASTE OF THE BIG APPLE: CO Legislators Crib Gun Language from New York U.S. Representatives

University of Denver Law Professor David Kopel testified at Colorado’s capitol on Monday about several gun control bills, noting that some of the language in Colorado’s controversial legislation was taken verbatim from gun control legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a liberal Democrat from New York.  We looked.  As usual, he was right.

McCarthy-sponsored H.R. 137, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 3, 2013, reads an awful lot like the Colorado State House Bill 1229, co-sponsored by Democrat Reps. Rhonda Fields and Beth McCann in the House and Democrat Sen. Morgan Carroll in the Senate.  Not only is the bill in its entirety similar, but there are several sections that are copied as a whole.

As a refresher, HB1229 is the bill that would require background checks on private transfers of firearms, even among extended family members, and it was introduced on February 7, 2013.  Here are a few examples of the language shared between the two bills:

In HR137, the exceptions to background checks:

“A transfer that is a bona fide gift between immediate family members, including spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren”

From HB1229, in the same section:

“A transfer that is a bona fide gift between immediate family members, which are limited to spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren”

From HR137, regarding temporary transfers:

“At a shooting range located in or on premises owned or occupied by a duly incorporated organization organized for conservation purposes or to foster proficiency in firearms”

From HB1229, in the same section:

“At a shooting range located in or on premises owned or occupied by a duly incorporated organization organized for conservation purposes or to foster proficiency in firearms”

From HR137, regarding transfer exemptions due to death or estates:

“The transfer occurs by operation of law, or because of the death of another person for whom the unlicensed transferor is an executor or administrator of an estate or a trustree of a trust created in a will”

From HB1229, in the same section:

“A transfer that occurs by operation of law or because of the death of a person for whom the prospective transferor is an executor or administrator of an estate or a trustree of a trust created in a will”

These are just three examples, but don’t worry, there are many more, and this legislation isn’t exclusive to the U.S. House of Representatives or to Colorado’s State Legislature.  This is a concentrated effort by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to enact gun control legislation nationwide.

The question becomes – why do we elect representatives from Colorado when the representatives simply “craft” legislation that’s already been written by federal legislators from New York?  Does Colorado have a need for Reps. Fields and McCann, who introduced this bill in the House without changing barely a word, or what about Sen. Carroll who sponsored this steaming pile of legislation in the Senate?  Why not simply elect Rep. Carolyn McCarthy from New York to represent Colorado?  Or maybe Mayor Michael Bloomberg for that matter (hang on to your sodas folks!)?

Why are Colorado’s Democrat legislators taking their cues from New York’s finest instead of Coloradans?

 
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