Morse Defends Gun Control Legislation that Ignited Recall

August 5, 2013
Embattled Senate President John Morse appeared Sunday on MSNBC news to defend his support of controversial gun-control measures

Embattled Senate President John Morse defended his support of controversial gun-control measures

COLO. SPRINGS – Senate President John Morse appeared Sunday on MSNBC news to defend his support of controversial gun-control measures, and his decision to instruct fellow Democrat senators to ignore emails from 2nd Amendment rights activists who opposed the bills.

Morse said most of the emails were “disgusting and vile” and failed to address their opposition to seven gun-control bills – all pushed through two state Senate committees on March 4.

“They start with ‘you are an idiot,’” said Morse, adding that whatever email content followed wasn’t “going to have a great value for you.”

The comments attempted to clarify statements Morse made on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show in May when the Colorado Springs lawmaker admitted advising the Democrat Senate Caucus to ignore the “thousands” of emails from gun-control opponents.

“You can’t read them all of them anyway,” Morse told Maddow. “We just have to stay away from some of this toxicity.”

“We get the point that some people think their 2nd Amendment rights are being abridged – we know darn good and well that’s not true,” declared Morse. “It’s not worth getting into that argument…  Don’t read anymore of these than you absolutely have to because it will wear on your psyche.”

As the Sept. 10 recall draws near, Morse has been generally silent on the gun measures that sparked the recall effort by the Basic Freedoms Defense Fund.  But, Jennifer Kerns, pro-recall spokeswoman, raised the gun-control issues Sunday on the MSNBC show and challenged Morse to hold a public town hall meeting to answer questions from his constituents in Senate District 11.

Morse declined to participate in a public forum, and claimed that his “tele-townhall” meeting two weeks ago was “structured to include thousands of people.” Yet, that evening it was stated that an estimated 200 callers were listening to the lawmaker answer pre-screened questions.

Last week, A Whole Lot of People for John Morse campaign launched radio and TV ads imploring folks to vote against the Senator’s recall and extolling his 7-year voting record.  The ads do not mention the gun-control measures.

Yet, the Morse-defense campaign also posted a video of the lawmaker elaborating on the gun-control measures during an interview with Colorado Springs Gazette reporter Megan Schrader on July 27.

“It almost appears that they came, signed their names so they could claim that they didn’t get the opportunity to testify,” asserted Morse who estimated 500 people had signed up to testify against the bills being heard on March 4.

In response to complaints that gun-control opponents had traveled from across the state but were not afforded the opportunity to testify, Morse said, “There was lots and lots of opportunity for people to testify.”

Opponents of the gun-control measures were unable to testify against several bills because the hearings were held in two committees that met for roughly 12 hours each – at the same time.

“We weren’t going to spend three weeks doing what we could do in a day,” Morse said. “That’s not how the legislature works.”

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs listened to proponents and then opponents of three bills to ban concealed carry gun permits on college campuses, require background checks for all gun transfers and determine fees for the background checks.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on four bills, which included banning ammunition magazines greater than 15 rounds, prohibiting on-line training for concealed carry permits, taking firearms from domestic violence offenders and the Assault Weapon Responsibility Act.

The Assault Weapon Responsibility Act, sponsored by Morse, would have held gun manufacturers and sellers legally liable for weapons used in a crime – even if the guns had been stolen.

The Senate committees passed all of the bills, but later Morse withdrew the gun liability act and Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) killed his bill to ban concealed carry on campus – both measures were deemed too extreme by Republican and several Democrat lawmakers.

“Why am I being recalled?” asked Morse. “Because I have a low voter turnout” in the 2010 election, creating a threshold of 7,178 petition signatures.

Though 10,137 signatures were certified by the Secretary of State and upheld by a district court judge, Morse continues to challenge their credibility.

“As president of the Colorado state Senate, taking me out would be a tremendous trophy to put on the wall,” declared Morse.

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

12 Responses to Morse Defends Gun Control Legislation that Ignited Recall

  1. Jon
    August 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    He is such an arrogant A$$!!

  2. Vet63
    August 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Perhaps Mr. Morse your emails would not begin with “you’re an idiot” if you had not supported such an idiotic package of bills. In an event without precedence 55 of Colorado’s 62 sheriffs have joined in a law suit to stop enforcement of these bills. When the very people charged with enforcing the law tell you it cannot be enforced one might think the legislature would give their words some thought but the only thought shown in the hearing was to think how any decent could be quickly stifled so that the Democrats could get on with passing laws they had decided to enact before hearings ever started. The highly acclaimed “ban” of high capacity magazines is not a ban on possession but only a ban on transfer within Colorado after July First. But there is no way law enforcement can determine whether a magazine was acquired after July first in Colorado and thus illegal or if it was owned before July first and therefore legal to possess. The “individual background check” is totally unworkable because only licensed dealers can conduct the check through Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The bill limits the fee a dealer may charge to a maximum of $10, which is what CBI charges the dealer. So the dealer is expected to spend his time and incur the risk of civil liability just out of the goodness of his heart without any compensation. Needless to say they will not do it so it is impossible for citizens to comply with the law. How would Mr. Morse like to work for free? One of the Democrats who passed these laws was so ignorant as to be unaware that ammunition magazines could be refilled, she thought they were one time use only.
    All of the foolishness of these bills were pointed out to legislators before they voted but they chose to ignore the citizens they were elected to represent in hopes of currying favor with the Bloomberg/Obama cartel. They should have observed by now that those people are more than willing to throw subordinates under the bus. Move to Chicago Mr. Morse, you’ll find the climate there more agreeable to your corrupt nature.

  3. Bob Terry
    August 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Great rhetoric from Mr Morse and what a great venue MSNBC to spew his hatred and disgust for the people he claims to represent. Didn’t Mr Morse state that it didn’t matter what the constituents felt, thought, or wanted? Since when does an elected official, who is supposed to work for those who voted for him, take money and advice from out of state ? Sounds like palm greasing to me..and under the table and closed door representation? Why are you being recalled Mr Morse…look in the mirror a do as I say not as I do individual. You have no interest in the majority of the El Paso county residents that unfortunately placed you in office. You are only on the side of the liberal base that think like you do…and it looks like you have finally found out how El Paso County feels about you and your leadership

  4. rob harris
    August 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    If anyone wrote an email to Senator Morse this past legislative session regarding gun control legislation, please forward that email to We would like to post several of the emails to show the public how many were not vile and were polite. Thanks.

  5. Winghunter
    August 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    You arrogantly infringe our unalienable rights and then have the audacity to snivel about the rightful outrage you receive in response!?

    Did you ever have a mind to lose!?

  6. Donald Ritner
    August 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Vet63 – Amen Brother

  7. Jeff newton
    August 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Senator Morse is delussional.

  8. Kathy Morse
    August 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    The only thing I am so sick of his whining! If Mr. Morse would of listened to the people and not The Mayor of New York and the White House .I think Mr. Morse knew he couldn’t get reelected he was using the gun control legislation as a stepping block to a bigger job. The people of Colorado voted him in to listen and represent them and their values not the Presidents and the Mayor of New York’s. When you don’t do a job you are hired for You Get Fired!

  9. Richard
    August 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I challenge Senator Morse to produce a dozen e-mails that meet the criteria he describes above. Morse is trying to write revisionist history to excuse his abhorrent behavior as Senate President this past session. Furthermore, he continues to prevaricate and dissemble with regard to the recall and reasons therefor.

    Morse is an abject failure as a “Representative/Senator” due to his inability to listen to his constituents.

    Giron and Morse both deserve replacement.

  10. August 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Morse stated:
    “In response to complaints that gun-control opponents had traveled from across the state but were not afforded the opportunity to testify, Morse said, “There was lots and lots of opportunity for people to testify.”

    That is an outright lie – and Morse knows it.

    Along with literally hundreds of other people, I arrived early and signed up to testify on several bills (specifically, HB1224, 1226, 1228, & 1229).
    “Expert” witnesses invited (primarily by proponents, but also opponents) were afforded extended time to testify, and (particularly for proponent witnesses) had their testimony drawn out further with questions from the committee members – but ordinary citizens were given short shrift.

    In some cases, almost the entire time allotted for witness testimony was consumed by the “expert” witnesses, allowing very few citizens to speak.

    In stark contrast to previous BIPARTISAN practice – in which committee hearings continued until all wishing to comment had the opportunity – testimony time was strictly limited and cut off with numerous witnesses remaining wishing to testify (to at least acknowledge the symbolism, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Dan Kagan, called upon those still present and wishing to testify to stand in silent recognition of the fact – resulting in almost the entire committee hearing room standing up).

    Morse was instrumental not only in jamming through ill-conceived and almost certainly unconstitutional legislation, but doing so in a manner that made a mockery of the legislative deliberative process and of the right of the citizenry to be heard on pending legislation.

    Morse’s arrogance, pomposity, and disregard for the rights of Colorado citizens is receiving a just reward in the recall effort.

  11. Eric
    August 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

    This Guy Will Soon Be History!

  12. Bryan2
    January 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I doubt anyone will see this, but I just wanted to add a thought. I hope none of you have to endure what some families, who had their sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters die at the hands of criminals who obtained guns, have to endure.
    I wish something could have been done to prevent my friend’s life from being taken away, but we can’t always get what we want, now can we? Forget your politics and your accusations. Why did this happen? I wish somehow, that vile criminal could not have had that gun to kill my best friend.


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