Pivotal votes on Colo. gun-control measures

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) - Colorado Democrats are moving ahead with expanding background checks on private firearm purchases and a new ban on gun ownership by people facing domestic-violence accusations.

The bills were given initial approval Friday in the state Senate.

The debate is being watched closely because some see it as a testing ground on how far the nation is willing to go with new gun laws in the wake of mass shootings in Connecticut and suburban Denver.

Colorado lawmakers also are debating limits on the size of ammunition magazines. Supporters face powerful opposition from gun-rights advocates.

Democrats hold an advantage in the Colorado Senate and can pass the bills by a narrow margin. But Republicans need only three Democrats to vote no to defeat any bill.

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