A little over a year ago, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado signed into law a host of gun control legislation. The most controversial of the laws outlawed the sale of magazines of more than ten rounds capacity. However, just last week, the Democratic Governor said that he regretted signing that legislation, among other admissions.
Speaking to a gathering of sheriffs from across the state, Governor Hickenlooper said that he only signed the bill because a member of his staff had made a promise that he would do so. He claimed that they did not check all of the facts from the beginning because “no one in our office thought it would get through the legislature” and even went so far to say that the fact that not a single arrest has been made as a result of the law shows how “worthless” it is.
It is hard to believe that it took the Governor at least a year to admit to his mistake. Colorado has traditionally been a firearm-friendly state and the legislation was met with significant opposition immediately after it was proposed. The bill did not receive a single Republican vote, and even some Democrats refused to support it, because they knew it would lead to job losses in the state and significantly limit Colorado citizens’ Constitutional rights.
Colorado’s own public safety officials were among the most prominent of opponents to the legislation. A few months after the bills were passed, 55 of the state’s 62 elected sheriffs, as well as the NSSF, sued Colorado in federal court, citing that the law violated the Second Amendment.
Furthermore, Colorado Senate President John Morse and State Senator Angela Giron were bumped from office in an unprecedented recall election as a result of their vocal support for this legislation. Mayor Bloomberg’s group Mayors Against Illegal Guns propped up the incumbent senators’ recall campaigns with funding and on-the-ground staffing. However, Bloomberg’s money will never be more powerful than voters’ opinions as these senators were ultimately ousted.
Trying to distance himself further from Mayor Bloomberg, Hickenlooper told the sheriffs that he never spoke to Mayor Bloomberg about the legislation. However, phone records obtained by the press discovered that indeed he had.
Considering the Governor is up for reelection in 2014, this apology seems like a futile attempt to win back the electorate he abandoned when he allowed the legislation to pass. He claims it was his staffer’s fault but shouldn’t Governor Hickenlooper’s first responsibility be to the people of Colorado and not a staffer who made one “promise” that was unfounded? Governor Hickenlooper may be trying to address a problem he sees in his polling, but Colorado voters have already proven that they have long memories.