The 69th session of the Colorado General Assembly has convened. Hearings for a number of House and Senate Bills are being held now. There is a lot going on at the Capitol in Denver. Several bills may affect criminal defense attorneys and our clients.
The hot topic on everyone’s mind these days is about guns. While Colorado does not specifically identify “assault” weapons it does define deadly weapons.
HB13-1043 addresses modifying the definition of a deadly weapon, CRS 18-1-901. The current statute reads:
(e) “Deadly weapon” means any of the following which in the manner it is used or intended to be used is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury:
(I) A firearm, whether loaded or unloaded;
(II) A knife;
(III) A bludgeon; IV) Any other weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate.
And a firearm as:
(h) “Firearm” means any handgun, automatic, revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other instrument or device capable or intended to be capable of discharging bullets, cartridges, or other explosive charges.
HB13-1043 Modify Definition of Deadly Weapon proposes to modify the definition so a firearm, loaded or not, is considered a deadly weapon. It won’t matter the intention or manner it is used. This means the gun itself doesn’t have to do anything to be a deadly weapon. Presently it has to have intention and capability to cause injury or death.
Time will tell if this is a band aid for the public or more wrangling in the courtroom. Bills see more hearings and three signings before they move on to Governor John Hicklooper. I suspect there will be a few more modifications before then.