Republicans Challenge Regret-Filled Hick to Support Magazine Ban Repeal

June 20, 2014

Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper

DENVER—Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper now says he has regrets about signing last year’s bill limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds, but it’s not too late for him to do something about it.

Republicans challenged Hickenlooper to get behind a repeal of the bill after he told county sheriffs that he was sorry for failing to consult with them on the measure; that a staffer promised he would sign the bill if it passed, and that the bill probably wouldn’t accomplish anything.

Secretary of State Scott Gessler called on the governor to convene a special session in order to repeal the magazine-limit law, also known as H.B. 1224.

“If he’s really sincere about the mistakes he’s made, he would call a special session beforehand to fix his mistakes,” said Gessler, who’s seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination. “But I don’t think he’s going to do that.”

Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who’s also running for the Republican nod, pointed out that a proposed initiative to repeal the law is now in the signature-gathering phase.

“There’s an initiative trying to get on the ballot right now, but I don’t hear him touting it,” said Tancredo.

Hickenlooper’s rambling June 13 speech to the sheriffs in Aspen has generated intense criticism this week after going viral. In his remarks, the governor appears to be making the argument that he shouldn’t have signed the magazine-limit bill in March 2013.

“Again, if we’d known it was going to divide the state so intensely, I think we probably would have thought about it twice,” said Hickenlooper on a video posted online by Revealing Politics.

“As you point out, how important really was it? They tell me after all the kerfuffle–I went back to try to get some facts that we should have had at the beginning–they told me there are roughly 300,000 magazines that carry more than 15 rounds in the state of Colorado already,” said Hickenlooper. “How’s a police enforcement officer ever gonna tell which is the old and which is the new one?”

Of course, Hickenlooper did have an opportunity earlier this year for a do-over. State Rep. Chris Holbert (R-Parker) sponsored a repeal of the magazine-limit bill in this year’s legislative session, but the measure was killed in February on a party-line vote in committee.

Holbert said he didn’t receive any support from the governor for his repeal bill, but that he was confident such legislation would pass next year if the governor would throw his weight behind it.

Hickenlooper is running for reelection in November, while Holbert is seeking a state Senate seat. Holbert said if he wins, he plans to run the repeal bill again in 2015.

“If I’m reelected and he’s reelected, I would invite him to get behind a repeal bill with me,” said Holbert. “I know the constituents in the district I’m hoping to represent would be thrilled to have him get behind this.”

In the meantime, “I think it’s reasonable to ask the governor right now: Would you sign it? Or is this just one of those convenient excuses?” said Holbert, who ran the bill with state Rep. Lori Saine (R-Dacono).

The county sheriffs have been among the gun-control bill’s toughest critics, with 55 sheriffs filing a lawsuit last year to overturn the magazine-limit law.

In his remarks, Hickenlooper tries to deflect blame for the bill-signing on a staffer. “One of my staff made a commitment that we would sign it if it got passed. To be honest, no one in our office thought it would get through the legislature,” said Hickenlooper.

In a Wednesday post on Twitter, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler cracked, “Hick powerless to override staffer commitment to support controversial gun bill.”

While Republicans would like to see Hickenlooper support a repeal, nobody’s holding their breath. He would have to defy local and national gun-control advocates, including billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who championed the bill in the aftermath of two 2012 mass shootings.

“This is the governor trying to cover himself now because he’s been so politically unpopular,” said Gessler.

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

7 Responses to Republicans Challenge Regret-Filled Hick to Support Magazine Ban Repeal

  1. Jackson
    June 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Good move!

  2. Adios Hick
    June 21, 2014 at 12:24 am

    “Again, if we’d known it was going to divide the state so intensely, I think we probably would have thought about it twice,” said Hickenlooper on a video posted online by Revealing Politics.

    They were never concerned about dividing the state. Why do you think they shoved Kumbaya energy and all the rate increases on rural Colorado?

    What Hick really meant is they underestimated the depth and breadth of the blowback. They thought Bloomie would be able to pull their fat from the fire with all his war bucks. It didn’t work. They were wrong. They will pay in November.

    • radical GOP gun nuts
      June 22, 2014 at 8:19 am

      the right wing gun nuts will pay in November. Hick is on his way to winning another term. the radical right wing gun nuts are a small minority fringe in COlorado.

      • Your a tool
        September 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

        You do realize that Colorado has 2 of the largest gunsmithing schools in the country. Yeah, your an idiot of the 10th degree.

      • kyle
        September 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

        Agreed. We need to just do a gun ban that makes NY safe law look like a joke. For all their talk and bravado, they will turn them in when told. I don’t understand why we put up with the gun nuts/lobby. The right simply doesn’t have the votes long term. In the mean time, levy a $5,000/year property tax on every gun, a 500% ammunition tax, and a $10,000/gun annual registration fee. The fact we tolerate guns is absolutely insane.

        Democrats need to spine up, take the guns, and make our country safe.

  3. Dave Barnes
    June 21, 2014 at 7:21 am

    A special session would allow the magazine limit to be lowered even more. Bring it on.


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