(Reuters) - Owners and makers of assault-style weapons would face civil liability under a package of measures unveiled on Tuesday by top lawmakers in Colorado, a state shaken by some of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history.
The bills, introduced by Democrats who control the state legislature, could push Colorado to the forefront of a national gun control debate reignited by several mass shootings last year, including massacres of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, and moviegoers in suburban Denver.
Other states such as New York have moved to further restrict military-style assault weapons. But if the measures become law, Colorado would hold owners, manufacturers and distributors of firearms more accountable for gun violence.
Owners of semi-automatic rifles would be subject to strict liability for civil damages caused by their weapons, and state statutes that shield manufacturers, importers and dealers from such liability would be lifted.