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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control -- By Emily Miller, The Washington Times

Protesters in favor of recalling Colorado state Sen. John Morse try to influence early voters in a recall election on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in Colorado Spring, Colo. Mr. Morse, who is Senate president, and state Sen. Angela Giron in Pueblo, both of whom voted for new Colorado firearms restrictions, faced the first legislative recalls in state history Tuesday. (AP Photos/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

Gun advocacy groups launch political camapaign around Newtown anniversary

Gun control groups are in full-blown campaign mode in this week leading up to the anniversary of the Newtown tragedy.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence held a conference call for reporters on Monday to spin its victories in the eight states that passed major laws restricting Second Amendment rights over the last year.

However, the speakers became defensive when asked about the the first successful statewide recall elections in Colorado.

"There’s been disproportionate attention paid to the Colorado recall, where the corporate gun lobby was able to create the perfect circumstances for a handful of extremists to carry the day,” said Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign.

“We really won this year. We beat them and they are desperate to cast the story the other way but that’s not the story that actually happened.” Mr. Gross laughed and added that,  “The law that was actually passed -- and by the way is still on the books -- is going to make Colorado safer.”

He’s referring to the two laws passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper that banned magazines over 15 rounds and mandated all gun sales go through a licensed dealer. The statutes went into effect on July 1.

Robyn Thomas, the executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence chimed in on the call that the NRA was “able to create this unfortunately little anomaly in Colorado” but that “they lost in Colorado, and they are losing all over the country, and they don't want that to be the story.”

Mr. Gross directed the media to dismiss the importance of Colorado as representative of the public will for more gun-control laws.

“In terms of electoral politics, let’s look at the governor election in Virginia and McAuliffe. He ran on this issue in the home state of the corporate gun lobby and won proudly,” he said referring the Fairfax-based NRA. “That is a far greater testimony to the sustained will of the American public than two small districts [in Colorado.]"

Mr. Bloomberg spent $1.1 million on ads supporting Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign to pressure for more restrictions on the Second Amendment in the Commonwealth.

While the Colorado elections took on national importance once leftist groups started pouring money into the state, they started organically by grassroots supporters who got well over the 10,000 signatures required to force a recall.

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