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Colo. Governor Signs 4 Post-Columbine Gun Laws

May 20, 2000|From Associated Press

DENVER — Gov. Bill Owens signed four gun bills Friday, saying that while the new laws might not have prevented the Columbine High School shootings they could have allowed for more charges to be filed.

The new laws:

* Make it a felony for a person to purchase or obtain a firearm for another person who reasonably should know the transaction is illegal.

* Bar a person from giving a firearm to any juvenile without the consent of the parent or legal guardian.

* Make it illegal for a person not to make reasonable efforts to prevent a juvenile from committing a crime with a handgun.

* Increase the penalty for possession of a weapon by a felon.

"I think today is a reflection of Columbine. While I didn't get all I wanted, this is a substantial improvement," the Republican governor said, acknowledging that the new laws were the product of compromises between gun control supporters and opponents.

Under existing law, two men in the Columbine case were charged with providing a handgun to minors, as shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were 17 at the time.

But Jefferson County Sheriff John Stone said Klebold's girlfriend, who admitted supplying guns to the youths, escaped arrest because the law then didn't make it illegal to provide long guns to minors.

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