DENVER (AP) — Colorado Republicans notched their biggest victory yet Monday against gun-control measures they've fought against in vain for the last two years.
But the victory will likely be fleeting. The GOP took advantage of its new Senate majority to steer through a repeal of expanded background-check requirements on private and online gun sales.
But the repeal, which cleared its first committee and appears headed toward approval by the full Senate, faces certain death in the House. That chamber remains under Democratic control.
Still, a minor victory for repealing the expanded background checks gave Republicans a chance to flex some muscle against a 2013 law they've always hated.
"This is a very dysfunctional" law, said Republican Sen. Kent Lambert, the repeal's sponsor.
The GOP committee also approved another Republican gun idea to allow anyone over 21 who can legally possess a gun to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, except on school grounds.
But on the same day those two Republican bills advanced, a Democratic committee axed five other GOP gun bills. Republicans said before the session started that they hoped Democrats would reconsider the 2013 gun controls, passed in the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting.
Democrats in the House didn't talk much during a marathon hearing that ran late into the night. They simply voted down all five proposals, including a bill almost identical to Lambert's background-check repeal. Another bill rejected by Democrats was a proposal to repeal a 15-round ammunition limit.
Even if the repeals did pass, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper would be likely to veto them.
The testimony ran long on Monday, but echoed the emotions that have previous gun debates in Colorado so raw. Lawmakers heard from relatives of people killed the 2012 theater shooting, as well as other victims of mass shootings.
Jane Dougherty, whose sister was killed in the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, was among those who spoke in favor of the expanded background checks, saying they would help stop "the senseless slaughter of a family member."
Associated Press writer Ivan Moreno contributed to this report.