NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 9TH

PARKS AND WILDLIFE OFFER YOUTH HUNT NEAR MEEKER

With generous support from local private landowners, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach Program is offering three youth the opportunity to participate in a guided, high-quality spring turkey hunt on private land near Meeker, April 26th through the 28th.  Youth under the age of 18 interested in participating can apply by sending a letter of interest that includes contact information for a parent or guardian, the hunter’s name, address, phone number, Hunter Education card number and an essay of 500 words or less.  The essay should focus on why they believe hunting is important for wildlife.  No previous hunting experience is required and all youth hunters are encouraged to apply; however, regardless of reason, youth interested in hunting but have never participated will be given preference over those that have already had previous hunting opportunities.  For more information, click here.

SENATE DEMOCRATS ADVANCE MAGAZINE RESTRICTION BILL

Colorado Democrats advanced new restrictions on ammunition magazines on a narrow margin as some members of their party expressed concern about the proposal.  The state Senate gave initial approval yesterday to a proposal that makes it a crime to have magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. Two Democrats joined Republicans in voting no on the measures amid concerns that the bill would not reduce violence and hurt a Colorado manufacturer of magazines.  Erie-based Magpul Industries says it will leave the state if the bill becomes law.  Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper has indicated support for the bill.  Senators still need to take a final, recorded vote on the bill to pass it.

BACKGROUND CHECK BILL ADVANCES IN SENATE

Colorado Senate Democrats advanced an expansion of background checks on firearm purchases as part of a package of bills responding to the shootings in Aurora and Connecticut.  The proposal would require background checks where they currently don’t exist, such as purchases online and private sales and transfers. The bill got initial approval in the Senate on an unrecorded vote on yesterday.  Republicans opposed the bill, saying the bill is unenforceable and won’t reduce violence. They say it will restrict people’s Second Amendment rights.  Democrats say the bill is needed to close a crucial loophole under current law that makes it easier for criminals to obtain weapons.  A final vote is needed before the bill goes to Governor John Hickenlooper, who has indicated support.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GUN BILL PASSES VOICE VOTE FRIDAY

An expanded gun ban for people convicted of certain domestic-violence offenses won initial approval in the Democratic Senate yesterday.  The domestic-violence bill was the first of seven gun-control measures under consideration. Senators debated the measure for more than two hours to kick off a gun debate expected to last late into the night.  The domestic-violence measure would require people convicted of domestic-violence felonies or misdemeanors to relinquish firearms and ammunition. Supporters said the forfeitures would protect victims from future violence.  Republicans opposed the measure, arguing that judges already have the ability to require gun forfeiture. Democrats rejected a GOP attempt to delay the debate until Monday and cleared it for a final vote required before the measure heads to the House.

LAWMAKERS APPROVE TUITION BREAKS FOR THOSE HERE ILLEGALLY

A proposal allowing illegal immigrant students to pay lower college tuition rates has passed the Colorado House and is headed to Governor John Hickenlooper, who is expected to sign it.  Three Republicans joined with all the Democrats in voting for the bill yesterday. The bill would allow students who graduate from Colorado high schools to attend college at the in-state rate, regardless of their immigration status.  Currently, students in the country illegally must pay the nonresident tuition rate, which can be more than three times higher than the in-state rate. Similar bills have been debated in Colorado for a decade.  Both parties have voted to defeat the proposals in the past. Republicans argued that a federal immigration overhaul needs to happen first.

In high school sports:
ALL NW COLORADO TEAMS LOSE TODAY

In the 3-A state basketball tournament:
The Moffat County boys beat Classical Academy 66-61.
The boys then lost to Brush 68-58 to end their season.

The Moffat County girls beat Jefferson Academy.
The girls then fell to Kent Denver 58-50, ending their season.

At 2-A Regionals:
At Grand Junction Central High School:
The Meeker girls beat Dolores 60-24.
They then lost to Simla 55-51, ending their season.

The Hayden boys defeated Sangre De Cristo 53-41.
They lost to Yuma today 50-33, ending their season.

At Mullen High School:
The Rangely girls topped Wray 47-43.
They then fell to Lutheran 73-43, ending their season.

The Meeker boys fell to Haxtun 55-34, ending their season.