OTHER OPINION: Colorado Democrats’ gun bill appears illegal

By Denver Post

It’s hard to figure what the end game is for Colorado statehouse Democrats who have proposed legislation that would allow gun manufacturers and sellers to be liable for damage inflicted by assault weapons.
The immediate problem with the idea, pitched by Senate President John Morse, is that it clearly conflicts with existing federal law.
To think that Congress will repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is to engage in fantasy.
This Congress will brawl over whether to enact even the least controversial of gun-control measures: universal gun background checks. Yet Morse is counting upon a repeal in tossing the idea out among otherwise rational measures to address gun violence announced Tuesday at the state Capitol.
Morse said Tuesday that once people realize there is a law protecting gun makers and sellers against liability litigation, there would be a “hue and cry to say, ‘That’s ridiculous, get rid of that.’”
We think that’s wishful thinking.
Let’s assume that the liability measure, which hasn’t yet been introduced, passes the legislature.
And let’s also assume Congress repeals the federal legislation disallowing liability actions against gun makers and dealers, which is unlikely.
Is the idea, then, to make the sale of these weapons so financially risky that gun makers and sellers wouldn’t want to do business in Colorado?
If so, Colorado lawmakers should cut to the chase and do something they actually have the power to do – propose and enact an assault-weapons ban.
As the gun control measures move forward in Colorado, we would hope the debate would stick to straight-forward proposals and facts, but perhaps that’s wishful thinking as well.