DENVER—Days after unseating two state Democrats in a historic recall election, gun-rights advocates are pushing to repeal the firearms laws that triggered the backlash.
The two recall committees, the Basic Freedom Defense Fund and Pueblo Freedom and Rights, announced Friday that they have joined forces in an effort to revoke the three gun-control bills approved earlier this year by the state legislature.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) says he plans to introduce repeal legislation when the state legislature convenes in January, adding, “I already have a request in for a bill.”
Convincing the Democratic state legislature to rescind the gun bills, approved and signed amid national media attention in March, should be a hard sell, especially in the House, where Democrats enjoy a 37-28 majority.
Then again, few thought the grassroots groups were capable of ousting both state Sens. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and John Morse (D-Colorado Springs). The two Democrats lost their bids to remain in office in Tuesday’s first-ever state legislative recall election.
“While we consider Tuesday’s election a significant victory, we realize that these egregious gun laws remain and we want to know where each and every Colorado state legislator stands on them,” said BFDF spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns in a statement.
“It is a new day in Colorado and constituents expect their legislators to represent the will of the people,” she said. “No one is immune from the reach of the grassroots efforts which powered these two recall elections.”
The recallers delivered questionnaires Friday to the state capitol asking lawmakers whether they would vote for a repeal of the gun laws in 2014, and whether they would support a ballot initiative to repeal the gun laws.
Lawmakers were asked to return the results of the two-question survey by Sept. 30. The BFDF plans to publish the results Oct. 1.
The recallers have also posted an online petition to gather signatures in support of the repeal at www.recallandrepeal.com.
If the state legislature doesn’t repeal the bills, the committees are “seriously considering” moving to place an initiative on the 2014 ballot, said Kerns.
The three bills limit ammunition-magazine capacity to 15 rounds or less; mandate background checks for all gun sales and transfers, including temporary transfers, and require gun buyers to pay for their background checks.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, who signed the three bills, appeared to distance himself from the magazine bill at a press conference last week, saying, “You know, I was never as fired upon on the magazine checks.”
Brophy said he would welcome the Democratic governor’s support with the repeal effort, although he doubts it will be forthcoming.
“If he’s having second thoughts, if he wants to move to middle, then have him throw his weight behind a repeal of that stupid law,” said Brophy, who’s seeking the 2014 GOP gubernatorial nomination. “But I’m throwing the B.S. flag on this one. I don’t believe him.”