Final two Democratic gun control bills quietly pass House

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DENVER — The last two Democratic gun control bills both passed the House on Monday morning with no debate.

One of them, Senate Bill 195, which requires some in-person training for concealed carry permit-holders, passed on a bipartisan 40-24 vote and now heads to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk.

The other, Senate Bill 197, restricts firearms for domestic violence offenders; it passed 36-28 but, because it was amended, must return to the Senate before it heads to the governor.

The entire House Republican caucus voted against the bill, which is just what Democrats wanted — a vote they can use in next year’s election mailers to argue that Republicans are so intractably opposed to gun control measures that they won’t even vote to take them away from violent domestic abusers.

The fight over these final two Senate bills paled in comparison to the long, hard battle over the main pieces of the Democratic gun control package: universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines of 15 rounds or more.

Hickenlooper signed those measures into law last month.

Four Democratic lawmakers are facing nascent recall efforts from angry conservatives and gun right’s groups, but most Republicans are annoyed about the grassroots recall signature drives that, unless successful, will only strengthen the targeted Democrats come next year.