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Colorado Senate OK’s gun control bills

Democratic Senate leader Morgan Carroll

Brennan Linsley/AP

Democratic Senate leader Morgan Carroll said lawmakers have no excuse after recent mass shootings not to tighten gun rights.

DENVER — The Colorado Senate on Monday gave final approval to a series of gun restrictions including expanded background checks, as it tied gun control to mass shootings in the state and elsewhere.

The Democratic gun control package in Colorado is being watched nationally to see how a politically moderate state with a gun-loving past responds to the recent shootings in suburban Denver and in Newtown, Conn.

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Democratic Senate leader Morgan Carroll said lawmakers have no excuse after those mass shootings not to tighten gun rights. Her district includes the Aurora movie theater where 12 people were killed.

‘‘If we fail to do a commonsense measure . . . then shame on us,’’ said Carroll, arguing for a bill to expand background checks to private and online gun sales.

Colorado senators passed five gun-control measures — including magazine ammunition limits and expanded background checks — that won initial approval Friday after more than 12 hours of debate.

Republicans tried in vain to stop the package, which also includes a gun ban for people accused of domestic violence crimes and a ban on online-only gun training for concealed-carry permits.

Two proposals in the Democratic gun package were pulled last week because of lack of support. Those were a liability measure for gun owners and a concealed-weapons ban on college campuses.

Most of the bills now head to the House or return there because of Senate amendments. But the House is in Democratic hands, too, and already has signed off on the concepts behind most of the bills.

Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has said he supports expanded background checks and magazine ammunition limits. But he hasn’t indicated where he stands on the other measures.

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