Udall Moves Left on Gun Control

January 21, 2013

Udall has signaled support for extending a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, but has not yet weighed in on other proposals

WASHINGTON — Colorado’s Mark Udall indicated support for two key proposals of President Obama’s legislative package to reduce gun violence, taking a stand slightly to the left of his fellow Senate Democrats who also are up for re-election in 2014.

The Colorado Democrat told Denver’s FOX affiliate last month he supports a renewal of the assault-weapons bans that lapsed in 2004.

After Obama rolled out his legislative proposals and signed executive orders Wednesday, Udall released a statement that indicates he also supports a ban on magazine clips of more than 10 bullets.

“While Colorado has a storied tradition of gun ownership, I am not certain that owning high capacity ammunition clips or weapons made for the battlefield are necessarily part of that heritage,” he wrote.

Udall’s statement did not mention his position on requiring universal background checks on prospective gun buyers and authorizing $150 million for schools to hire more police officers.

While Udall’s attempt to straddle the guns issue is nothing new, it departs from several of his Senate Democratic colleagues standing for re-election next year. Democrats from smaller, more rural states that former Gov. Mitt Romney carried in 2012 released statements or made comments that were cooler to Obama’s gun package.

Take Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. He challenged the thrust of Obama’s proposals, suggesting they were misdirected. “Before passing new laws, we need a thoughtful debate that respects responsible, law-abiding gun owners in Montana instead of one-size-fits all directives from Washington,” he said.

Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina indicated more support for Obama’s gun package, but less than Udall. “I will look at any proposal with an open mind, including the President’s proposals to make schools safer and grant law enforcement additional tools to prosecute gun crime,” she continued.

Jennifer Duffy, Senate editor of the Cook Political Report, said “(t)here are always Senate Democrats that won’t vote for gun control …You go into some of these districts and states, you’ve got a very, very different situation.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) represents a conservative district, as both the US Air Force Academy and the Focus on the Family headquarters are in his central Colorado seat. Lamborn said he was “skeptical” of Obama’s call to reinstate the assault weapons ban, noting “(g)un bans have proven ineffective in the past.”

The results of some recent national polls suggest that Udall’s support for limiting magazine rounds may be popular, while his support for an assault weapons ban is not.

A National Journal poll found that 56 percent support and 41 percent oppose eliminating ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds.  The same survey found that most opposed renewing the ban on semi-automatic weapons. Forty six percent agreed the ban should be renewed, while 51 disagreed. More than three in five Democrats supported the ban, but only 45 percent of independents and 37 percent of conservatives agreed.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden) has said he plans to introduce the proposal in the new Congress.

Duffy said re-imposing the ban on semi-automatic weapons would be tougher sledding in Congress than limiting high-capacity clips, but said gun-control supporters will struggle to enact their measures even if Obama pursues an LBJ-style lobbying blitz.

“All of these proposals have a better chance as stand-alone bills,” she said, “but for Obama to lobby for them like LBJ would represent a real departure from the previous four years. When have we seen him do that?”

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

17 Responses to Udall Moves Left on Gun Control

  1. moe grenier
    January 22, 2013 at 4:15 am


  2. Thomas L Baird
    January 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Dear Senator Udall,

    Although I am not an owner of AR15, AK47, etc, I do not agree with legislation that you are supporting and proposing. It would do NOTHING to curb gun violence and would just further erode our liberties. Please rethink your position and stand behind freedom. Our violence is the product of a lack of civil discourse and holding ourselves to the high moral standards that make us human.


    Thomas L Baird
    ‘a constiionalist’

  3. Merlin Zimmet
    January 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    How about a BAN on Hollywood movies with more than 500 rounds fired, and more than a dozen screen “deaths.” Let’s peel the onion back and get down to the real nitty gritty of our societal ills! Some people are just totally desensitized to real human death and others are just pure sociopaths who have no feeling of remorse for anything. Rather than one weapon with a 15 round magazine, if they really want to do some damage, they’ll pack two weapons with 10 round magazines. This limit on magazine capacity and ban on rifles with a certain appearance isn’t going to stop squat. While we’re at it, let’s ban any sandwich that has over 600 calories, maybe that will save some lives. Ridiculous!

  4. Jim Clark
    January 24, 2013 at 5:01 am

    So when Obama speaks to “fundamentally transforming America” perhaps someone with some guts in the press should ask him, “What do you mean by that – exactly?” This American certainly hopes it means preserving America’s Founders’ “fundamental priciples” as established in our Constitution as ” fundamental absolute” rights of the individual citizen to pursue their life, liberty and happiness while responsibly retaining the equivalent power of the gun to deter and if required defend against the actions of criminals and/or bad (domestic enemy?)governments. On the 2nd Amendment Mr. Obama needs to quit his duplicity and fomenting class warfare on law abiding Americans’ fundamental, absolute freedoms with mob action (the leftist press) and political mugging by his collectivist left administration’s tyranny of the majority tactics. He needs to quit lawyering the principles and absolutes of the Constitution, bring his journalist thugs in the main stream media in check and pick a fight he can win. Principles and absolutes founded on TRUTH and “Self Evident” are not transformable. They are are worth defending regardless of laws or rules issued by any branch of the Federal goverment. Don’t take my word for it – just read the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.

    So, in closing I ask you to ask again of Obama and his leftist collective, “What is it you all are so anxious to “fundamentally trsnsform” and by implication improve about America?”

  5. Ron Floyd
    January 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

    We need to remove this patrician and replace him with one of us. He serves the rich not us.

  6. Kevin Smith
    January 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I second the thoughts of Thomas L Baird… I do not own an assault weapon, nor any large caliber weapons. I have no need for these things and frankly I do not see the appeal. I do on the other hand see the appeal of the idea of freedom of choice to own or not own such an object. I am OK with not owning it but I want that to be my decision and NOT the government’s. I fully believe in the idea that a government should fear it’s people (a key component of a genuine democracy) and people should not fear a government(the key component of a tyranny).
    I have yet to see ANY law stop the actions of a person bent on breaking the law; from speeding in a school zone to the use of illegal drugs or desire to injure another person. Laws are like locks they only stop those who obey the law.

    • September 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Agree with Kevin Smith. I don’t own any semi-automatic weapons, long gun or hand gun. My choice, and it should remain my choice.

  7. Paul
    January 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    None of the proposals made by the President would have made any difference in the last (or any other) shootings. By removing the FEDERAL “gun free ” requirements for schools, he could have signaled to the criminal/crazy that our schools are no longer soft targets. An attack on a school may get you killed before you can get famous. Just the possibility of armed intervention by a law abiding teacher, administrator or other staff member may prevent many of these attacks. If it only saves one life…….

  8. Fred
    January 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Mark Udall just lost my vote. I will never vote for someone who obviously does not support our Constitution.

  9. January 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Mr. Udall, you continue to follow the yellow brick road…how can you be so egotistical and vain, how can you even entertain the thought that you are smarter than the founding fathers, who lived through the tyranny of a King?… and then ignore their wisdom learned from it? You are a fool to think any of the ‘suggestions’ in obama’s ‘gun proposals’ are going to stop violence…and you are a bigger fool to think the American people will calmly sit back and let you change any part of the 2nd Amendment…

  10. Joan B
    January 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    The criminals will have weapons. Chicago, no gun city, has more deaths then Afghanistan. Simpletons. Mental health issues need to be addressed and dealt with. 2nd amendment should NOT be messed with. Smarter men then any of them trying to tamper with it wrote it and protecting our lives, families and property is a God-given right. Even though obama thinks the Lord, King of Kings, has his chair.

  11. Laura F
    February 1, 2013 at 8:58 am

    It is about access – if these guns are harder to get so that a mentally ill or ‘stable’ person can only kill 1 or 2 at a time – it is PROGRESS! Thank you for seeing the light on this. We won’t be able to stop every unfortunate murder in this country but we can at least enact some measures that will make it harder to walk into a classroom, a movied theater and open fire and within a minute be standing over a heap of dead, bullet riddled bodies. THANK YOU! You have my vote and I will campaign for you!

  12. rob
    April 18, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Given Udall’s vote against a background check I hope someone comes forward with a primary challenge. He might as well switch parties.

  13. John
    January 20, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Well it is time for Udall to go anyway. He has spent so many years in DC that he has forgotten who he represents.


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