It was an emotional, sometimes personal confrontation as Colorado House Democrats passed the red-flag gun bill Monday over Republican objections on a 37-25 vote, sending the contentious legislation to the Senate for more debate.
Rep. Kimmi Lewis, a Republican who represents Bent County, voted against the bill.
Rep. James Wilson, R-Fremont County, said rural counties such as his already were declaring themselves "Second Amendment sanctuaries" in reaction to the bill.
Lewis and Wilson argued that rural Colorado families depend on their firearms to protect their livelihoods and that HB 1177 could do great harm to their farms and ranches.
The measure would allow police to temporarily confiscate guns from someone having mental problems, based on a judge's willingness to issue an Extreme Risk Protection Order. That would come after testimony from police or a family member that the person was a danger to himself or others.
The debate split the House on party lines but also for deeply emotional reasons.
As on Friday, when the House argued for more than 10 hours about House Bill 1177, lawmakers found themselves sharing traumatic personal stories of abuse.
No one's voice was more heartfelt than Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, who told the House she had to support the bill because a troubled, angry boyfriend once held a gun to her forehead and pulled the trigger, only to have it jam.
Esgar said she understood some of the doubts from critics, but said that ultimately she had to go back to that day of waiting to be killed by an abusive boyfriend.
"That gun jammed and it's the only reason I'm here today," Esgar said in a trembling voice. "But I have to look myself in the mirror. And just maybe he would have gotten help (with this legislation)."
Republicans argued the bill was undermining gun rights, violating constitutional protections against illegal searches and essentially judged someone guilty without any chance to defend themselves from the temporary order.
"This is a gun grab," Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs. "It turns our constitutional protections upside down."
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, an Army veteran, said the legislation seemed to be "spitting on the graves" of his friends who were killed fighting in Iraq.
"I know that wasn't the intention, but it feels that way," he told Democrats.
But Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver, who drafted the legislation, said it was developed in close cooperation with both police chiefs and the county sheriffs.
He scoffed at the idea that county sheriffs would refuse to comply with a court order.
"You're not going to enforce a court order? To save someone's life?" he asked Republicans. "This is a simple bill."
Gov. Jared Polis has said he supports the bill, which now goes to the state Senate for consideration.