Should Denver expand its gun control laws? One councilman will push for it.

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Councilman Rafael Espinoza wants to see Denver expand its gun control laws to limit people’s access to bump stocks and other conversion devices that allow guns to fire at higher rates.

“We’re trying to make sure that there’s no ambiguity,” said Councilman Rafael Espinoza. “There are certain things that I think are very low-hanging fruit that I think we should have done yesterday.”

Currently, he’s having the city attorney’s office draw up definitions that could be used to restrict access to modifications such as bump stocks, a device used by the Las Vegas shooter to more quickly murder dozens of people. The idea is in a very early draft form, he said.

Suggestions for additional regulation “have resonated with me and I’m going to be exploring them,” he said at a Denver City Council meeting on Monday night.

The city already bans the sale and possession of “assault weapons,” a definition that includes any semiautomatic rifle with a magazine capacity of 21 or more rounds. That local law has survived both a court challenge and state lawmakers’ attempts to overturn it.

Espinoza said there is a “right kind of firearm to own to do the normal activities,” but he feels that “quasi-military” weaponry is excessive.

“It’s more of a federal responsibility to go after the firearms themselves,” he said. “I think that eventually there’s going to come a time where the majority of Americans pursue an amendment to our Constitution.”

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