kill committee neville

House Minority Leader Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, testifies in support of gun measures before the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.

The kill committee at the state Capitol lived up to its name on Thursday.

Three bills to loosen Colorado's gun laws failed for the fifth straight year in the same committee that they have failed in the last five years: The House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, known as the "kill committee."

"Well, it's not called that. It's called that by people who choose to call it that," said the committee chairman, state Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood.

"I offered [to] the speaker that I would serve in whatever capacity that would be of most use," Kennedy said. "When she appointed me the chair of this committee, it was in part because we're going to be dealing a lot with election law issues, campaign finance issues, lobbyist disclosure issues, and I have some experience working on those kinds of things."

So why the heck is the committee for election issues hearing legislation on gun laws?

"People can vote no and kill bills and protect other members from having to take hard votes," said House Minority Leader Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock.

Before becoming House minority leader, Neville served on the kill committee. Neville said he was selected for the committee because he was in a safe district, having won his election with 70 percent of the vote.

"That's typically why they stack this committee in that way, so that they can protect other members, so they don't have to take the hard votes," he said.

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