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KVNF Regional Newscast: March 21, 2024

Jason Bechtel via Flickr (CC BY-NC)

A bill that would ban assault weapons in Colorado cleared its first hurdle in the state legislature. The bill would outlaw the possession, sale and transfer of a wide range of guns it defines as assault weapons. Those include a variety of semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns, including AR-15s. Over six hundred witnesses signed up to testify at the fourteen-hour legislative committee hearing.

Lawmakers voted along party lines to advance the bill after midnight. It now faces debate on the House floor. Conservatives and gun-rights groups say banning assault-style weapons violates Coloradans’ second amendment rights and criminalizes law-abiding gun owners. A similar bill last year passed the House but was voted down in the Senate.

Colorado State Rep. Matt Soper was selected as 1 out of 10 state legislators to be part of the U.S. delegation to a series of trilateral meetings on critical infrastructure and financing with legislators from Canada and Germany. The first meetings were held in Germany last week. The meetings are organized by the Aspen Institute-Germany and aims to strengthen the “Transatlantic Partnership” around cyber and physical security, energy generation and distribution, and ensuring strong healthcare systems.

As we move closer to the 2024 General Election, immigration continues to be top priority for Republicans…and not just on the national level. There’s been a wave of recent ‘non-sanctuary’ resolutions in our region including Mesa and Montrose Counties.

Montrose County Commissioners approved a resolution March 6 declaring its a “non-sanctuary” county. Montrose City followed suit during an emergency meeting on March 7 but reversed its stance during Tuesday night's council meeting. Council members J. David Reed and David Frank joined Mayor Barbara Bynum in rejecting the non-sanctuary city declaration.

The Hispanic Affairs Project in Montrose thanked Reed, Frank and Mayor Bynum on its Facebook page for “standing up against fear and hate.” Council members Douglas Glaspell and Ed Ulibarri maintained their support for declaring Montrose to be a non-sanctuary city.

Similar conflicts between cities and counties are playing out in our region. Garfield County’s three Republican Commissioners recently approved a ‘non-sanctuary’ resolution pitting itself against Carbondale which has worked with nonprofits and community groups to provide new arrivals with shelter and services. For Aspen Public Radio, Caroline Llanes reports on Garfield County’s non-sanctuary resolution and the conflict it raises on multiple levels.

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Lisa was born in Texas but grew up on a small farm in Olathe, Colorado and considers herself a “Colorado native after six years of age.” Lisa has seven years experience in media, beginning as a News Director for a small radio station on the Eastern Plains. Following her initial radio career, Lisa worked as a staff reporter for The Journal Advocate in Sterling, Colorado and most recently as a staff reporter for the Delta County Independent. Lisa is thrilled to join the award-winning News and Public Affairs team at KVNF.