AP Report from Todays CO Bill Signing

Mar 20th @ 11:22 am in News by Scott Staley

Gov John Hickenlooper

Surrounded by lawmakers who sponsored the bills, Hickenlooper took a seat at a desk as cameras began to flash and looked up before signing the first bill. He paused and looked solemn. After a few seconds, he began signing the first bill to require a fee from background checks. He then moved on to signing the bill to expand background checks, followed by the magazine limits. 

After each bill, lawmakers and guests applauded and Hickenlooper shook hands with lawmakers. At one point, Rep. Fields reached behind Hickenlooper and shook hands with Rep. McCann, both of whom sponsored the magazine limits. 

Hickenlooper made no comments as he signed the bills and the applause after each bill were the only interruptions. For the magazine limit bill, the relatives of the victims joined the lawmakers surrounding Hickenlooper at the signing desk. Some of the victims spoke to him before he signed the bill on magazine limits. 

Sandy Phillips, whose daughter Jessica Ghawi, was killed in the movie theater, told Hickenlooper that Wednesday marked eight months since the shooting. 

“You’ve given us a real gift today,” Phillips said. Phillips also said to Hickenlooper later, “Thank you so much, you’re leading the entire country.” 

Jane Dougherty, whose sister, Mary Sherlach was a psychologist killed in Sandy Hook, was teary-eyed as she approached Hickenlooper at the signing table. I couldn’t hear what she said to him then. 

When all the bills were signed, some of the victims continued to speak with Hickenlooper, shook hands, and hugged. At one point after the signings, Rep. Lois Court said, “It’s a solemn occasion,” referring to the shooting death of Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements. 

Besides relatives of victims and lawmakers, the governor’s staff was also present, as well as lobbyists who worked on the bills.