Colorado governor will sign ammunition limits on Wednesday: spokesman

DENVER Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:37pm EDT

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the reopening and remembrance of the Century Aurora Theater in Aurora, Colorado January 17, 2013. James Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others on July 20, 2012. REUTERS/ RJ Sangosti/Pool

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the reopening and remembrance of the Century Aurora Theater in Aurora, Colorado January 17, 2013. James Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others on July 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/ RJ Sangosti/Pool

DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado's governor will sign legislation on Wednesday banning ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds, his spokesman said on Monday, pushing a state that has experienced two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history to the forefront of a national gun control debate.

The bill passed both chambers of the Colorado state legislature last week along with several other gun control measures, including one requiring universal background checks for gun buyers.

The votes followed months of debate on gun control in Colorado. Other gun-control bills approved by state lawmakers include making firearm buyers pay for their own background checks and banning online certification for concealed-carry permits, both of which Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper has said he supports.

Another measure would bar gun purchases by people convicted of domestic violence crimes. Hickenlooper had previously said he was undecided about that bill until he could see the final version.

The passage of those bills follows several mass shootings last year, including the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

That followed a mass shooting in Colorado in July when a gunman opened fire in a crowded premiere of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb of Aurora, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

Former University of Colorado neuroscience graduate student James Holmes, 25, has been charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder in that case.

Colorado was also the site of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, where two teenagers shot dead a teacher and 12 other students before committing suicide. Several of the guns used in that attack were bought at gun shows.

Following Columbine, the state closed a loophole that allowed firearms purchases at gun shows without a background check.

The Colorado legislature's action follows the passage in New York state in January of a sweeping gun-control law that bans assault weapons and magazines that hold more than seven rounds of ammunition, requires gun owners to register most guns with the state and requires universal background checks.

President Barack Obama has put forward a number of federal gun-control proposals following the Newtown killings.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Shumaker)

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