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Public service announcement #1 on gun storage, February, 2021

House Republicans, with one last attempt to slow down or stop a bill that would require gun owners to safely secure their guns, made their arguments personal during the final vote on House Bill 1106.

The measure requires gun owners to use locking devices, gun safes or other devices to secure firearms in the home. HB 1106 is sponsored by Reps. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn and Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge.

The House on Monday spent 10 hours debating the measure, with Republicans throwing more than 30 amendments at the bill, all but one rejected. 

Tuesday's debate prior to the vote started with Rep. Mark Baisley, R-Roxborough Park, who demanded that anyone voting for what he viewed as an unconstitutional bill to renounce their oaths of office. He also claimed those who voted for the bill have no personal or professional integrity.

That earned him a scolding from Speaker of the House Alec Garnett, D-Denver, who reminded Baisley that his views were his own but not to impugn the motives of any other lawmaker.

"We've had a fair and reasonable debate," he said.

Rep. Richard Holtorf, R-Akron, said the bill will push the divide between rural and urban further and warned rebellion may be the next step. People from rural Colorado have had enough, he said.

"Our country was founded on rebellion," he said, "and there are political winds where I come from ... as we chisel away, with the best intentions, if this continues to go like this, there may be a breaking point."

The message he brings is not his own, Holtorf said. But in the "farthest ends of the state, there's guns-a-go-go and nobody's afraid of them and nobody's afraid to use them."

Garnett struggled to keep control of the debate.

"Tensions seem real high ... you can't be inciting violence" or threatening to use firearms, he told Holtorf.

Rep. David Ortiz, D-Centennial, a military veteran, responded to the Republicans' charges.

"How dare any of us act like any one side has a monopoly on this sacred document?" he said. "These claims when you come up here and talk about violence and rebellion, you are supposed to be the best in your community!"

Cooler heads appeared to prevail after that. The bill passed on a 40-25 vote, with Rep. Don Valdez, D-La Jara, voting with the Republicans.  

House Bill 1106 now heads to the Senate, which Tuesday is expected to have its own debate over guns on Senate Bill 78, which requires firearms owners to report lost or stolen weapons within five days.

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