State Sen. Bernie Herpin, R-Colorado Springs, says he sponsored a bill to repeal limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines because it "was maybe a good thing [Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes] had a 100-round magazine because it jammed.”
Holmes is accused of opening fire at a Century movie theater in July 2012, leaving 12 dead and injuring 70 others.
“Perhaps James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine. As it turns out, that was maybe a good thing, that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed. If he had instead had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could’ve done until a good guy with a gun showed up,” Herpin said in his testimony to a Senate Judiciary committee on a bill to repeal a 15-round limit on magazines.
Tom Sullivan, the father of 27-year-old Alex Sullivan, who was killed at the theater, was enraged by the offensive remarks.
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“I’ve had a lot of thoughts since July 20 of 2012, and I can tell you that I never had once thought that it was better that that man walked into that theater with a 100-round drum and opened fire on the over 200 people that were in that theater,” Sullivan said.
Herpin defended his remarks, saying that the high-capacity magazine “saved lives.”
“I was trying to make a point that the high-capacity magazine that he was using was unreliable, jammed, and that saved lives,” Herpin said.
The bill was later rejected on Wednesday night.
The magazine restriction was passed by Democrats in 2013 in response to mass shootings in Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.
Colorado Democratic Sen. Jessie Ulibarri said he was concerned by Herpin’s comments.
“Twelve lives were lost, 70 were injured. That wasn’t a good thing in any sense,” Ulibarri said.