Gun-law supporters rally at Colorado Capitol to say 'we aren't backing down'
DENVER - They organized in response to Columbine, lost family members in an Aurora movie theater and are now desperately trying to maintain the ground they've gained.
Colorado Ceasefire members rallied Monday on the steps of the State Capitol to send a message to those opposed to gun control measures passed last session: "we aren't backing down."
"I expect there will be a bill to repeal everything we've done," said Eileen McCarron, president of Colorado Ceasefire. "A rollback effort."
McCarron is worried about more than bills that may be introduced during the 2014 legislative session; she is battling a so-far successful and ongoing effort to oust lawmakers who support gun-control measures.
In September, two state senators were removed from office in voter initiated recall elections. Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, have been replaced by Republicans.
Democrats still hold a single-vote majority in the Senate.
But that margin is on thin ice with a group actively collecting signatures to force the recall of Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster. The group - Recall Hudak Too - has until the first week in December to turn in 18,304 signatures from registered voters in Hudak's district. That's far more signatures than were needed in the Morse and Giron recalls.
If enough signatures are found valid it will force an election where voters in the district will be asked if Hudak should be removed from office and if so, who should replace her.
McCarron said Colorado Ceasefire is donating money and time to keep Hudak in office.
There is also a Democratic majority in the House that supported gun legislation last session.
Five laws were implemented over the summer that: require background checks on all gun transfers, even between private individuals; ban the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 15 bullets; require in-person training for concealed permit licenses; enable judges to remove guns from possession of those suspected of domestic violence and create a $5 fee for all background checks conducted by the state for the purchase of a firearm.
Morse - a vocal proponent of those as the president of the Senate last session - has left office and just founded Americans for Principled Leadership. The non-profit registered with the Secretary of State's Office aims to support lawmakers who support gun legislation that keeps "guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals."
McCarron said it was a sad day for Colorado when Morse was ousted from office. She said he responded immediately after the shooting in a Connecticut elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults.
Contact Megan Schrader