(WASHINGTON) -- State lawmakers in Colorado began debate Monday on several gun-related measures, including ammunition limits and background checks.
As a plane circled the State Capitol in Denver with a banner that read, “Do not take away our guns,” lawmakers were inside listening to emotional testimony from people whose lives have been affected by gun violence.
Other opponents of gun control drove cars around the capitol and continuously honked their horns.
Dave Hoover, whose 18-year old nephew, AJ Boik, was killed in the Aurora movie theater massacre last year, told lawmakers his nephew was shot through the head and died instantly. Hoover declared, “I don't want somebody else's child to be killed in that manner.”
Jane Dougherty, whose sister Mary Sherlach was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut last year, told the Colorado lawmakers that the damage inflicted on her sister’s body was “so severe that her husband was not allowed to say goodbye.” Dougherty said, “We need to honor my sister's life and all the lives lost as a result of gun violence, it is time to enact sensible, meaningful laws to reduce these tragedies.”
Mark Kelly, the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot along with 18 others by a gunman in 2011, testified before the Senate's State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee, and called for a universal background check bill for private sales. “This is an important day in the state of Colorado,” Kelly said.
Kelly stressed that he and his wife are gun owners, and told the lawmakers, “When dangerous people get guns we are all vulnerable; at church, conducting our daily business, and time after time, at schools and in classes...Our leaders should not look toward special interests and ideology but toward compromise.”
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