Colorado recall election on Tuesday tests limits of gun control laws

Colorado recall election on Tuesday tests limits of gun control laws

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On Tuesday, voters in Colorado Springs and Pueblo will go to the polls to decide whether to recall their state senators. Democratic State Senators John Morse (Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (Pueblo) were instrumental in passing a set of gun control laws that were signed by Democratic Governor Hickenlooper. The laws that were passed earlier this year limited gun magazines to 15 rounds, raised gun fees, and required universal background checks paid by the gun purchaser.

Senator Angela Giron called these gun laws “modest.” A poll conducted in December 2012 showed that a majority of Colorado voters supported stricter gun laws. Colorado is home to the Columbine school massacre and the Aurora theater shooting, yet it is a state that holds its rural mountain heritage in high regard.

Giron is a first term lawmaker who is up for re-election in 2014, and Morse is termed out after next year. An opponent would only be able to serve out a partial term.

Money from pro-gun and gun-control groups have flowed into Colorado from around the country attempting to influence voters in Colorado Springs and in Pueblo.

The cost of the recall is an estimated $500,000, and recent polling shows that a majority of Colorado voters oppose recalling the senators. Yet a majority of Colorado voters express that the gun control laws go too far. One explanation for voters opposing the law is that the poll conducted in December was right after the Sandy Hook elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and voters could have been more apt to support restrictions in the aftermath of a tragedy. Or voters could be swayed by the pro-gun messaging that has inundated the state in recent weeks. But the main point is, these two districts in Colorado have become ground zero for gun control laws and will be a bellwether for how future changes to gun policy.

 

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