Colorado has joined New York as the first states to enact stricter gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed three bills into law which limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, require universal background checks for gun sales and transfers and make buyers pay for those checks.
He inked the bills Wednesday morning, despite warnings the magazine limits would force Magpul, the largest producer of ammunition magazines in the state, to leave and cut hundreds of jobs.
"This ordeal has taught us to be more diverse geographically," Doug Smith, Magpul's chief operating officer, told The Denver Post
But Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown told the newspaper, "Large magazines have the potential to turn killers into killing machines.
“This law won't stop bad people from doing bad things. But it does open the possibility that a person determined to kill people might be slowed down even for an instant.”
Hickenlooper signed the law the day after his chief of prisons was gunned down on his own doorstep. Police are still searching for the killers of Tom Clements.
Colorado has seen two of the worst mass slaughters of recent years: first the Columbine school shootings in 1999 when two seniors gunned down a dozen fellow students and a teacher, and then last year’s shooting at a movie theater in Aurora in which 12 people died.
In late January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing into law new firearm and mental health legislation making the Empire State the nation’s first to enact gun laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December, which took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators.
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