Rep. Joe Rice and Sen. Betty Boyd are sponsoring a bill to make Colorado's current use of the InstaCheck screening process permanent.
Federal law prevents convicted felons from purchasing firearms, but some people who have only been charged but not yet convicted of crimes can still buy guns.
Colorado uses InstaCheck, which catches people between their arrest and conviction. The program can also prevent people with restraining orders against them from purchasing firearms.
"Without InstaCheck, a wife beater, a stalker or someone who's about to go to court or who wants to stop a witness against him, these, I'll call them thugs, could buy a gun anywhere, anytime," Boyd, a Lakewood Democrat, said.
Boyd says the InstaCheck system can protect victims of domestic violence and witnesses in crimes.
However, this program is set to expire on July 1, 2010. House Bill 1391 will make the program permanent.
"It makes sure that people who shouldn't have guns, who have been arrested and who are violent criminals, don't walk out and buy a gun," said gun control advocate Tom Mauser with Colorado Ceasefire.
The bill is meeting opposition from many Republicans and a few Democrats in the legislature who say it might violate potential buyers' constitutional rights.
"It is a prickly subject," Senator Mike Kopp, a Littleton Republican, said, "But the fact of the matter is, it's a right guaranteed under the Constitution."
Kopp agrees guns should be kept out of the hands of criminals, however, he says this bill goes too far by preventing purchases by people who have only been arrested or charged with a crime but not convicted.
"Once they're found guilty," he said, "I have no issue with that. They're guilty of some federal crime, and that is a whole different category. But, if they've just been charged, here in America we believe you're innocent until proven guilty."
Kopp believes the current law should be allowed to expire. Then, Colorado gun dealers would only use the FBI back grounding system that prevents convicted felons from buying guns.
"We don't need the bill because it's covered under federal law," Kopp said.
HB 1391 narrowly passed out of a House committee and could be introduced to the entire House sometime this week.
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